Cock & Swan, “PERG”

Sandra Song

There’s something simultaneously outlandish and incredibly deliberate about Seattle-based avant-tape duo Cock & Swan. Because even though their name sounds more like a gastropub or a Monty Python skit, I have no doubt that this experimental electronic project creates an end product that’s astonishingly regal.

Take “PERG”, the second track off of their forth-coming TAR release What Was Life?, which sounds far too grand to just be a series of shadowy, pasted-together tape loops. A song that announces itself in bold, exclamatory fashion, the initial ten seconds charges headfirst in a rhythmic propulsion that feels more akin to hard techno than analog experimentation, hammering forth in its deliberate guitarwork and sputtering percussion. Over the next four minutes though, it slowly flowers into something with an intricate psychedelic spin, something sweeping and disarmingly mesmerizing—though you really should know better.

After all, it’s completely all-enveloping in its creep-up-on-you nature, the product of muted percussion, drip-drop synth and Ola Hungerford’s angelic vocals. A hypnotizing track that will immerse you in a grey-tinged haze, a gliding melody coupled with an impatient elegance, it’s far more refined and fervent than their previous work.

Visit Cock & Swan for more music and TAR for more releases from the label.

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