Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Sometimes, But Not Always Caged

Just like Trupa Trupa’s Headache coming out on Blue Tapes, I was not expecting an album like Sometimes Always Never to come out on experimental label Pan y Rosas. It’s not a complete surprise – Cagey House has put two albums out through them in the past, and the staccato drums and breezy interplay evokes someone well versed in free jazz improvisation. But it is the plaintive space and dare I say dainty compositions here, with so much space within a soft soundscape, that threw me. It is the contemplative score of infanthood; of discovering how to crawl, to walk, to run; to laugh at something of your own creation, not just weird sounds and faces; to recognise the warmth of the sun on your face as a positive force for the first time. For me, the title Sometimes Always Never is the notion that these moments, these first, are sometimes (always) never truly experienced again. Even the freedom and adrenal rush of running, laughing, enjoying life, feels like a construct, a shadow of the pure form of enjoyment and happiness. The child’s voice on ‘Mother Life’ almost accentuates this – the words, like life, light, share, today, fish, enough, all evoke the first realisation of what these words encapsulate – and the mystery of the words become lost through knowledge. It’s a slight sound collage, in eight vaguely song-based pieces, but as a celebration of life and the melancholy of its passing, it’s a striking work.

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