Rachael Dadd — FLUX (8 Nov. 2019)
♣♣ Všechno to vzešlo z bohatství kočovného životního stylu. Písně pak byly zaznamenány zčásti živou kapelou ve studiu a následně metodou overdubbing u Rachael v předsíni, kde bylo preparované piano. Manžel Ichi je zručný na hudební vynálezy. Křížení žánrů od folku, přes pop a experimentální pasáže, „rezonují“ pulsativně s polyrytmy na piano, xylofonem, bendžem, hlasy, klarinety, rozbitým sklem, psacím strojem, krabičkami od sirek, ocelovým bubnem, tap~dancingem, tleskáním, a dokonce i tepem Rachaelina dítěte v děloze. Její láska k africkým terénním nahrávkám a duchu zakotveného v nich prosakuje do písní a koresponduje s různorodými vlivy: Steve Reich, Tune Yards a japonská underground/improvizační scéna.
Location: Minamihoncho, Kanto, Japan / Bristol, UK
Album release: 8 November 2019
Record Label: Memphis Industries
01 Arrows 4:30
02 Cut My Roots 3:52
03 Beacon 4:11
04 Two Islands 3:45
05 Language of Water 4:45
06 Animal 4:32
07 Palaeontologist 4:23
08 Super Moon Machine 3:58
09 Knot 5:14
10 Two Coiled Springs 4:01
11 Connected to the Rock 4:39
by David Auckland 25 October, 2019
♣♣ There are frequent references to water in this, Rachael Dadd’s sixth solo album release. Flux is a term used in physics and applied mathematics to describe fluid passage or movement, and Dadd’s latest work is an examination of flow and of change, looking forwards as well as back and urging us to connect not just with each other, but with the air, the water, and the rock upon which we live.
♣♣ Held within its eleven songs are references to our individual rights and responsibilities, and a call to counter growing forces of despair and injustice. It is an unapologetic plea for love, offering solace and hope to those who find themselves suffocated and unassuaged by an existence within a cynical world. ‘Arrows’ is the opening track, its gentle sub~Saharan rhythm and Dadd’s fragile vocals defining our tireless quest for direction and purpose — ‘We are all arrows, pointing to those that we want to love’. Lead single, ‘Cut My Roots’, references the tightening of borders and a surge in xenophobic prejudice. ‘Will I be free to move around’, she asks, ‘My heart is my flag that I’ll carry wherever I go’. A toil of driving drums and saxophone makes way for an impassioned dance of freedom.
‘Beacon’ implores us to seek out the truth and view the ‘bigger picture’ in a world of misinformation — a guiding trumpet accompanies the vocal as if to shine the way. A banjo gently mimics the waters that surround ‘Two Islands’, a story of two cultures both of which are suspicious of change. Piano and clarinet guide us through the ‘Language of Water’, and ‘Animal’ re~establishes our universal right to be accepted and respected as individuals — ‘my feet are my roots and my head is free’.
♣♣ A jazz~infused ‘Palaeontologist’ examines pre~history and ponders the question, ‘was there love in the Cretaceous?’ whilst, over skittering keys, ‘Super Moon Machine’ wants to know ‘who pushed the keys, who pushed the buttons’ and how we may have initiated the countdown to our own demise. ‘Knot’ represents the bonds that consolidate and hold us together, and it reaches a climactic conclusion with the heartfelt plea — ‘hold your dear ones close, that knot must not come loose’. ‘Two Coiled Springs’ are imagined as dual sources of energy housed within a single shell, to be unleashed as we ‘crack the nutshell’ and release ‘the magnificence of life’.
♣♣ Finally, ‘Flux’ reaches its conclusion with ‘Connected to the Rock’ — a banjo and Dadd’s voice climb towards journey’s end and a windy summit, joined by drums, strings, saxophone and backing voices in a rich crucible of elemental form. It reminds us that, for all our progress and technologies, Planet Earth remains the physical and spiritual home, not just to us, but to the whole of Mother Nature.
♣♣ With ‘Flux’, Rachel Dadd has created a work that reveals a structured simplicity woven from a cloth of rich and complex yarns. Her voice may appear soft and fragile, but the songs are fuelled with matriarchal purpose and a relentless desire for justice. ‘Flux’ takes tide and time as its theme, but uses it ferociously to highlight the inequality and selfishness that we have introduced into our world. This is surely her most potent work to date.