Surds & Indices: “Cube Root Forms”

dmbubbly.jpgDNRC087 | 2xL.P. |† 2017 | DELETED

One of the most exciting things to come out of the post-folk renaissance was a smattering of middle-aged crooners with predilections for female drummers, whose creative frisson led to such fantastic collaborative acts as River & Road, Pixel & Pixel, Rum & Raisin and, last but not least, Surds & Indices. Surds, the stage name of former Waning Gibbous drummer Stan Bulimia, had decided in 2014 to take his “Dusty” show on the road, touring a series of small fishing hamlets in Gippsland to rave reviews. Some time during that tour, however, he was handed a serving of potato scallops by a young woman who later took the name Indices and who, it turned out, had forgotten to dust the scallops with salt and vinegar as per Surds’ maniacally-anal request. And the rest, as they say, is a fisherman’s basket. Spanning two jam-packed discs and spawning its own genre (‘Fish Hook’), Cube Root Forms sounds exactly like what Goldie’s Timeless would have sounded like had he embraced country instead of jungle. And here’s where the problems begin: while Surds obviously knows his chops, breaking down the gorgeous melody of “Lakes Exit” into a three piece coda featuring humpback whale and lagaphone, Indices is left washed up on a shore of orange roughy in the epic instrumental “Mulloway” – one can barely even hear her sighs over the washed-out samples from Enya’s staggering release (and obvious precursor) Watermark. In this sense, Surds and Indices do not function as a proper duo, rather as a solo artist accompanied by backing vocals. Obvious tensions within this puzzling creative partnership led to the re-recording of “Thirty”, “Full Fathom High Five” and “Turkey”, with the result that most of this record comes off as a Surds side project. Nevertheless this record is worth the effort of tracking down amongst the bargain bins of yesteryore, as the likes of its lickable cover artwork shall not be seen again. Deleted, simply, though almost painfully, from the rings beneath your wind.

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