Wizard Of: Lifer/Exister – album review

Wizard Of – Lifer/Exister (Jehu And Chinaman)
Cassette/DL
Out Now

The first physical release from former Women In Tragedy member, Bob McCully (aka Wizard Of), reviewed for Louder Than War by Paul Scott-Bates.

After several digital only EP releases, Bob McCully releases his first material under the name of Wizard Of and it’s a bit of a monster of an album. Two side-long pieces, Lifer and Exister, which are split into five movements each.

‘Lifer I’ starts with a dubstep beat and soon grows with the addition of other sounds and effects, including some sort of oscillation then a vocal effect, possibly Indian in origin, which is treated to a high pitched squeal. The voice is a common theme throughout, creating one of several links between the tracks, initially a continuous snippet looped over and over and then slowly adding bits of the vocal to make a more elongated excerpt, liken the pitch to Another Dimension by The Prodigy.

Each movement has a new beat whilst retaining similar elements of dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass, ‘Lifer II’ has a superb wall of sound not unlike Dan Friel’s recent Total Folklore album. Taking you on a journey from high to low, through dark and glimmering, it really is a very clever piece of work.

If there’s a downside to the album then it is it’s form of physical release. Most of my music listening is done in the car (or the bath!), and without a cassette player in either of those locations, I’m pretty limited. The album is available through Amazon as a series of individual mp3’s but the full impact of the album is lost on single tracks and due to each side being a continuous mix, the gaps in between tracks are poorly executed.

Listening to the album as Bob intended, Life/Exister is a quite stunning piece of work utilising drone, dance and varying vocal effects. The sound can be intense and is something to behold. An album worthy of a widespread release and one that you really should do your upmost to hear.

8/10

Follow Bob on Twitter here and do Facebook things here.

All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is Heaven Is A Place On Pendle. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.

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