Release Date: Sep 23, 2014
Record label: Last Gang
Gazelle Twin’s Elizabeth Bernholz spoke recently in an interview about her creative approach. She described how, following a personal crisis, she decided to “blank canvas” her entire approach to making music. On her debut album, The Entire City, we saw this comprehensive thinking realized. On Unflesh, her second, Bernholz’s blank canvas thinking (more grey-sky than blue-sky) is realized in a series of tracks that seem more tightly bound, even vacuum-packed.
Elizabeth Bernholz, the Brighton, UK-based writer/producer/composer/artist behind Gazelle Twin, cuts a singular figure in today's pop landscape. Whereas her debut album, 2011's critically acclaimed The Entire City, was heralded as a "triumph of art-pop splendour" and favoured more traditional harmonies and song structure, Unflesh does everything possible to distance itself from Gazelle Twin's previous material. Bernholz goes into full industrial-pop territory on her new full-length, with material that is less immediate and less accessible, but oh so intriguing.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. A relentless machine gun style beat forms the basis of 'Anti Body', the lead single taken from Gazelle Twin's second record. Other sounds coagulate around it, but that simple beat remains a constant. It starts out as a distant, muted kick drum, before mutating into an aggressive synth melody in the song's final moments.
The struggle between body and mind is increasingly complicated, with the steady encroachment of a third party: the machine. Our digital selves are becoming more assertive, pertaining to our existence with almost as much importance as our physical bodies, and perhaps more menacingly, our innermost thoughts. To their advantage however, our protrusions into the digital realm exist in a universe free from many of the constraints that we face in reality.
Elizabeth Bernholz’s second album as Gazelle Twin is predominantly about stripping away absolutely everything in order to discover some kind of truth. The whole album is a back to bones process. Musically, everything has been put through a kind of sonic-reducer. In part this was done with live performance in mind, but the upshot of the approach is that this collection of songs is uncluttered, precise and all the more effective for their streamlined nature.
As Gazelle Twin, Brighton electronic musician Elizabeth Bernholz keeps her face disguised by masks and hoods. The diced and pitch-shifted vocals that characterise her music bury her identity further. Having explored the urban environment with 2011 debut ‘The Entire City’, dense follow-up ‘Unflesh’ sees Bernholz turn her attention on the body.
Out with the old? Not quite yet. Before the year fully gears up, this Playlist lingers over some albums from 2014 that earned some belated notice — and welcomes some 2015 albums that defy the January doldrums. Jazmine Sullivan’s third studio album, “Reality Show” (RCA), to be released this ….
The human body lets you down in so many ways, from minor itch to mortal illness. At times like these, it can seem like another entity, a malevolent force with a will of its own - far from separate, though; a part of you that you can never escape from. For centuries, philosophers and artists have grappled with the mind-body problem, but the more of an impact it has on you, the more irreconcilable it seems.