The Spaceape – Xorcism (Hyperdub)
Facing a serious illness has led to the creation of a very personal album by Spaceape. LTW’s Paul Scott-Bates tells us all about it.
Size isnât everything. At less than 13 minutes for 7 tracks, Spaceape proves this.
Stephen Samuel Gordon is a poet, and a damn fine one at that. Set to samples of Voodoo drums and Haitian music we find seven tracks telling seven stories in an amazing chaotic style that beggars belief. Gordon executes each track with amazingly originality.
Neurolymphamatosis (a rare cancer) and Gordonâs three year battle against it is the âinspirationâ behind Xorcism and the chance to describe his condition through music.
Opener ‘Your Angel Has Come’ argues with God (etc..) and the impending reality of death. Backed by a Voodoo beat, the track is frantic and exhilarating, making your heart feel like itâs beating in your throat ready to burst out uncontrollably. Further Voodoo from Haiti on ‘On The Run’ and if the vocal style has a hint of Tricky then itâs ironic that the female vocal (ahem – this isÂ actually Spaceape’s voice repitched – editors lol!)Â has a more than passing resemblance to one time Maxinquaye collaborator, Martina Topley-Bird. Telling of deceit by life and ultimately the realization of the lies fed to us.
The hard-hitting tale of betrayal of the body in ‘Palaces’ canât be ignored, making you feel Stephenâs pain and anguish. ‘He Gave His Body Over To Science’ is the most âpoeticâ in style â so vivid are the words that the image of medical experimentation is easy to visualize. A Siberian chant backs ‘Spirit of Change’ making it a hypnotic and enthralling experience.
Penultimate track,’The Sound’, carries on where ‘On The Run’ left off. Frantic wind instruments and random percussion in the background. A superb collection ends with ‘Up In Flames’ and Haitian folk (I kid you not!). The âDevilâ guests on vocals with a warning to a complacent human race in an almost John Cooper-Clarke styled poem.
Xorcism is quite simply a breath of fresh air and a superb EP. Itâs downside? That it ends too quickly. The positive? That it means you can play it again quickly!
Words by Paul Scott-Bates. More writing by Paul on Louder Than War can be found here.