Published 17 August 2013 by JT
Review written by Abi Bliss
The Wire 355 / September 2013
With the scope that it offers for shaping sounds into actors or scenery of a drama, electronic music lends it's self willingly to metaphor. Sometimes - particularly in works conceived with one eye on academic plaudits - this plays out as laughable melodrama or leaden farce , relaying heavily upon once innovative but now familiar sonic acrobatics , or drawing connections between sound and connections that are obscure to everyone but the creator.
Fortunately Jo Thomas wields metaphor with greater subtlety. The titles of the four tracks have a watery theme , yet it is unclear which way the allusion flows - are the sharp , glitchy edits and darting pans of 'Bream Choir' meant to evoke the momentary glinting of individual fish within a larger school or is the piece about the sounds them selves , there transformations best understood through a sub aquatic lens?
Regardless of the power of suggestion the album conjures up images of a chill , pressurised realm , whose borders are muffled and diffuse and where the world of detail shrinks to a few centimetres ' diameter . Thomas 2012 album Nature of Habit had a similarly contrasting sense of the intimate and the distant but Mermaids creates a more tactile , if still fantastical sonic space, where the echoing , popping sounds of the title track suggest bubbles rising to the surface in a way speaking more directly to the imagination rather than the laws of physics .
As with her 2010 Album Alpha where the voice became the basis for a Donna Haraway informed post human space , vocal sounds comprise the raw palette of Mermaids . Only rarely is this apparent . Scales features bovine groans that might be how underwater residents perceive human speech , while the richly glittering 'Earth , Moon And The Stars concludes with a ghost of a song . For the most part , however, Thomas transforms her samples beyond recognition, rendering them not so much half human , half fish as new and seamlessly fused mythical beings.
Cafe Oto 3rd of September
Published 25 August 2013 by JT
thank you for those who have been in contact over the past few weeks . At the moment I'm finishing a new work and am about to travel to bulgaria 'sofia' for 4 days to work in the tempora festival doing workshops and music performances of my own work and improvisation.
I have a gig with Maria Chavez when I come back from Bulgaria on the 3rd of September in Cafe Oto. I'm very excited and will be good . I have another great gig coming up in Lewisham Art house with Charles Hayward . So all is good and all is very good ...
Some thing special from the label tape worm . They have released my work Dark Noise on a tape cassette ..
Links to Cafe Oto on the 3rd
Links to tapeworm label
Lovely and will see you soon ,
for bookings and info please email email@example.com.
28th of January -4th of February
Chinese Open ' Score Artwork
The Montague Arms, 289 Queens road Peckham SE15 2PA
Mermaids Vinyl available for release from Holidays Records.
Mermaids Vinyl available for sale Boomkat
Nature of Habit CD available for purchase at
Nature of Habit CD available for Purchase at Boomkat
Alpha E82 Vinyl available for purchase at Entr'acte
Soul Vibration / Joachim Norwdwall Jo Thomas Remix 2013
Jo Thomas Entr'acte Mix June 2013
Jo Thomas New Scientist Crystal Prix Ars Electronica 2012
Jo Thomas awarded Golden Nica from Prix Ars Electronica 2012'
Mermaids Fact Mag Best of 2013 Nick Bullen
- Review of 'Little Tsunamis' Film Wire Music Magazine.
- Sound Stones
- Soft Culture for a Nation
- Cessation of Silence
- Noel 2016
- Soil Flow
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