The Mermaid Cafe's music arrives at the curious intersection between British song-based experimentalist practices. Tipping towards the tender minimalism of Jane and Barton and Young Marble Giants, as well as the contemporary composition of Mica Levi and Neil Luck, the group explore the awkward space where melody, harmony, sound and outré weirdness meet in tryst.
In this debut release by them, moods and tone palettes blend and shift, taking clouds of synthesis, ruffled tape work, scrapes of guitar and field recordings along with them as they lead us inward. Like the music, spoken refrains and diaristic laments arrive and disappear, providing signposts to their maze: intersections that gradually lead way to a romantic, melancholic core.
A pleasure to put out a new release by this exciting young group who are bursting full of ideas.
1 - Alice
2 - Improv
3 - Shoulders
4 - Pith / An Impossible View
The mermaid café is a creative collective made up of Joanna Ward and Ruari Paterson-Achenbach.
As a group, they aim to think towards, and imagine the potentials of, a contemporary compositional-curatorial-performative artistic practice which is radical, feminist, queer, antiracist, anticapitalist, anticolonial; resistive in concept and practice. They have a postmodern, referential artistic vision, infused with playfulness, and inspired by a joyful mix of the musical and extra-musical. They love musical practices that have a point of view and are oriented towards the body: riot grrl, northern soul, queer cabaret, free jazz, fluxus. Their creative work is explicitly influenced by their research and activism, engaging with things like experimental novels, free green spaces, the black radical tradition, the (non)semiotics of shape and of colour... Through all of these interests, they want to create sites for sonic resistance, and to reject traditional power structures inherent in composer/performer/audience relationships.