The title is apt: Fascinating Everything is indeed fascinating. This beguiling release goes in every direction save the expected; when it is over, one asks, what did I just hear? The product of a former Arkansan (now in South Korea) and a Canadian, this tape crosses both physical borders and genre boundaries on its way to something new.
If there is any corollary to make, it may be to the work of múm in its Summer Make Good era, since Lauren Walker’s (Lewtrakimou’s) voice bears the same quality: innocent and childlike, until it turns to something strange and slightly sinister. This tone is apparent in the title video as well, as time and time again, the familiar shifts into the odd. The resulting feeling is what one might experience if suddenly realizing that one has unintentionally ingested hallucinogenic drugs. The track itself is one of the album’s best, beginning with cutlery and singsong cadences before falling down a rabbit hole of warps and drones. The bass and cowbell provide sonic anchors, but just as one is beginning to get one’s bearings, the ground moves again.
On “Is There Anything I Can’t Do?”, sweet tweets, crickets and a soft brook are melded to off-kilter sounds, providing a pleasant disorientation. The lyrics are eaten by birds. A stranger sings nonsense syllables in the forest. Witches chant while thunder rolls. And then the album takes another turn: “Sad As Buckets” is delivered in a happy tone, until the piano drives the children away. Before the song ends, it incorporates the synth percussion from Trio’s “Da Da Da”, fumbled strings, a dialogue sample and a distorted orchestra. Sad as buckets? Not at all; we’re happy as pails.
Whenever one gets used to the timbre, it metamorphoses. Patterns are established and demolished; instruments die and are replaced by immature descendants. Pristine tones land on windshields, only to be smeared by overeager blades. Farm animals supply the background of the a cappella “They Don’t Believe You” ~ at least until some odder, louder creature comes thumping in. “Except My Memories” forgets to build, choosing instead to dissolve, rolling around in a drone like a dog luxuriating in grass. Is this what it is like to be transplanted to the other side of the planet?
On Fascinating Everything, Lewtrakimou and Adam More have imagined a world into being. While its rules are unapparent, its appeal is undeniable. (Richard Allen)