One night I remember seeing a firework spear through the sky and I thought it would never stop moving. One night I lost my senses in a wilderness of bricks and mortar. One night I kissed Hazel behind a row of shops - chip shop, video shop, newsagent, laundrette - is that a shop? One night somebody solemnly presented me with a blurred copy of what looked like an X-ray. One night I listened to Several Wives like a three year old and shadows of things emerged. One night my best friend overdosed and fell into a sinister sleep where he said he heard loud saxophones on repeat - God is a saxophonist is what I deduced from that. One night Several Wives spoke to me. One night I wanted to put everything straight - sort of. One night I trundled along in a distracted state staring into the canal after an argument with my older brother - I can still feel the pain. One night no-one believed me. One night Several Wives appeared to ask me if I had ever watched ants amongst the riverside grass? One night I watched the current and said: "I love you." One night I remember my heart hammering in that slender vein that divides my forehead. One night I saw Several Wives on several drugs and the small audience seemed to be locked in entranced speechlessness. One night I wandered into my own head and promptly lost the compass. One night I started to tell her my true history. One night I saw Several Wives stretching time into a series of meaningful minutes. One night the weather turned bad. One night I stared into walls full of cracks, festooned with green creeping plants, strange bushes whose names no one knew, wild flowers growing out of a tiny crevice, buses pouring poison but the flowers surviving, garnet roses, pale lilacs. One night I heard Several Wives make an epic weeping sound like the final cry of the final dinosaur. One night I gave up telling her my true history because it sounded false. One night days grow shorter. One night the house was dark.
Austin Collings - author of Myth of Brilliant Summers & co-author of Renegade: The Lives & Tales of Mark E Smith.
Blonde, Arms Tight Black, Wive’s first full length recording, is interminably dark. Nearing 50 minutes in length, this debut is a prolonged haze of ghostly apparitions, orchestral instruments moaning as if bereaved, striking like streams of moonlight through a thick fog of nocturnal ambience. The songs that make up the record are so evocative of cinema that each one feels like a perfectly balanced scene, edited and constructed with an obsessive auteuristic vision. And like the best and most transgressive examples of cinema, the experience of this record is a kind of erotic and mind altering night terror. The compositional rigour displayed on Blonde, Arms Tight Black vastly distances its owners music from the clichéd troupes of the dark ambient genre, instead continuing in their own vein the sumptuous work of the likes of Howard Shore, Bernard Hermann and Angelo Bandalamenti. Perhaps the closest relative to Several Wives sound, to my ears anyway, is Akira Yamaoka’s work on the Silent Hill soundtracks, sharing a similarly hazed VHS quality and brooding romanticism. But whereas these composers have the tendency to sometimes delve into kitsch and cloying melodies to solicit feeling in their listeners, Several Wive’s genius lies in peeling away the chintz to reveal the stark, baroque beauty of their music, held out like an open wound. One cannot helped be reminded of a classic line from Manhunter: “Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight, Will? It appears quite black.”
David McLean - Tombed Visions Records
Tombed Visions are a Manchester (UK) based label that specialise in “Sound art, ambient music, experimental electronics and improvisation and aims to showcase the fringes of contemporary independent music. ” They first came to my attention via a couple of releases by the wonderful Bad Body. Having a deco at the site my eyes were drawn to this release by Several Wives. I’m a big fan of film soundtracks and so anything that takes the tropes from the great soundtrack artists and mixes them with some dark ambient and experimental electronica is going to float my metaphorical boat. Blonde, Arms Tight Black' is the soundtrack to the creepiest film your imagination can conjure – the atmospheres it creates are genuinely eerie and all done with one eye on making the album flow like a coherent suite of tracks. There are fleeting flashes of dark ambient – some cavernous drones and sepulchral silences – but such is the art of these guys that one would never ‘categorise’ this release as such, rather it should stand alone as the nigh on masterpiece that it is. Evocative, thought provoking and as immersive as hell. Another winner from Tombed Visions.
Rats In The Walls
Göldi fell is Several Wives’ newest work, following on from the excellent 'Blonde, arms tight black' cassette release on Tombed Visions last year. The bowed, electro-acoustic, heavy drones continue and present an almost horror-soundtrack performance of intense beauty. It’s a deep, dark world of reverb, echoes, and distant pulses all struggling to be heard and understood. This is a stunning piece of experimental, almost classical work, evoking a sense of ethereal dread and mournful regret. A thick air creeps in. It’s a doom-ladened record and one that will take you over if you let it.
This is the sound of an orchestra haunted by the ghosts of murdered acid trippers. Stripped of any trifling considerations of anything as meaningless as true rhythm, melody, or structure, this is music that seems impossible to have been orchestrated. And yet, it was. It is. It must be.
Göldi fell is a difficult album, but for all of the right reasons. None of it feels easy or comfortable. And nor should we want it to. It’s healthy to be unsettled, unnerved from time to time, to be dragged out of that tiredness, that jadedness.
Göldi fell will stay with you long after the CD has stopped spinning. This is an album for late-night listening, headphones on, in a darkened room. Embrace the isolation and challenge it offers, and emerge from the other side changed somehow. To describe the experience as enjoyable is inherently wrong; but it is still one that comes highly recommended"
The Sound Not The Word
...the violence of these noises is simultaneously bright and terrifying, the assurance of the beyond also a reminder of the fragility of the rest.
A Closer Listen
Veil on Veil is the fourth album from experimental act, Several Wives. Veil on Veil continues the deeply cathartic explorations into doom, electro-acoustic, and outsider classical that have become synonymous with their work. Several Wives is undoubtedly the most enigmatic artist Lost Tribe Sound has attempted to pair words with. The more one struggles to describe it, the more it evades. Words like dark, sinister, disturbing only seem to address a surface understanding of the dynamics at play, as with each listen new emotions are revealed like half-remembered days of a haunted childhood. Veil on Veil presents an amorphous sound, somewhere between a solid and liquid. Depending on your mood going in, it can take you down various pathways (like when your friend told you, stay positive and this trip won’t turn sour). This is music that heavily invites a narrative without being beholden to it. It finds just as much satisfaction bathing in its own filth as it does bringing its believers to the light. It’s music made of dungeonous booms and clatter exquisitely paired with sepia-toned strings and other cloaked sonics. Here at Lost Tribe Sound, Several Wives have made a huge impact on our musical taste since first discovering the release, Göldi Fell. It has led us down the rabbit hole to all sorts of ritual music, minimal rhythmic ambient, cult film soundtracks, and various other lost compositions. Having now spent days listening to works of Several Wives, what remains is perhaps the music’s most curious property. For all the exchange between the darkness and the light brought on by these mood-heavy formations, the line between the two now feels more blurred than ever, and that may be its best illusion of all.
Lost Tribe Sound
Veil On Veil's vaporous sepia shades do not fail to emanate an oblique, inscrutable charm." - (translated from Italian)
MUSIC WON'T SAVE YOU
While there's a lot of difference between murky drones, floating acoustic guitar or occasional minimal beats, it all holds together surprisingly well as an intriguing, slightly disturbing album.
(Peter Hollo) UTILITY FOG
This enigmatic project again shows a dark, mysterious sound that nestles between dark ambient, industrial, doom, drones, avant-garde, moody orchestrations and experimental music. That happens in such a way that everything takes you along like an exciting thriller.
(translated from Dutch) (JW Broek) DE SUBJECTIVISEN
Several Wives offer up thirteen dissonant, clanging, cinematic slices of ritual like dark ambience, hauntological discoveries and occasional dashing’s of folk shone through an experimental prism.
DRIFTING, ALMOST FALLING
Göldi fell verdict: Dead sounds belong to those who claim them most obsessively. Hear them blossom in the shadow of the abattoir. Then feel the weather of the room change. Superb - as always - like a single white cloud hanging there, holding out, for the pale moon.
Austin Collings, Writer & Creative Director of THE WHITE HOTEL (M3 7LW)