Intersubjectivity – Cleaning Women (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Well, that’s just plain silly. Or perhaps it is a stroke of genius. After all the two are often the same thing and shift from one to the other only depending on how you look at them. It’s probably something to do with Heisenberg’s Uncertainly Principle…well, it all feels a bit quantum to me anyhow. So you have a band who have fashioned a range of homemade instruments largely from cleaning appliances and household detritus including an electric coffee bean can bouzouki, customised laundry rack, wash tub bass, 3-string closet hanger rod bass, melodic kling klang…no, me neither… and a drum kit made from at least 3 washing machines!

But as gimmicky as that might sound, the music is anything but. Intersubjectivity is a deft blend of space rock, cinematic sci-fi western and hypnotic, DIY film score and sparkling trash-can disco. Leap of Faith is mutant cross between a garage band take on the Doctor Who theme and the hypnotic grooves of Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days, Life Among the Concrete Dust is a glitchy, dystopian pop dirge and Living on The Streets is the sound of a computer re-inventing pop music from lost pieces of code that have fallen through the cracks.

It comes as no surprise to find Einstürzende Neubauten’s Alexander Hacke on production and mixing duties, after all if any band knows about making music from discarded, unconventional, non-musical items it was those mavericks. But whereas their works were often harsh, challenging and aggressive, Cleaning Women make a much more palatable sound. Still hardly what you might call accessible to the mainstream but certainly a few steps closer by comparison.

But there is always a small but hungry audience for such music, after all creativity evolves more due to the leaps of faith taken around the edges of an art form rather than the conformity at the centre and Cleaning Women are the compromise between the two. Industrial experimentalism being forced down an art-pop route? Conceptal art made into music? Not something you hear every day and who wants to hear the same thing every day?

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