[3 January 2011]
The cover of Cocoon, with its thread-artwork and a title that signifies concentration and enclosure, seems to be casting its references back a few years to Bjork’s Vespertine, but the music is enraptured only part of the time. There is a rock guitar that keeps butting in, nyow nyeow diddley-wee, and shattering the peace like a bee at a picnic. The soundscape that goes on at other times is a mixture of soft-sour hums, slithers, and folk-noises—a purr of Central Asian throat singing from Pavel Lapygin, a polyphonic women’s chorus, Russian singing slowing into profound chants. These sounds wind together, and if you’re looking for a cocoon-like effect in the music then it’s here, in this wall of trance thrumming. When the guitar comes to slice it open, the wall yields, then waits to seal itself shut again. No dramatic change is effected. No butterfly emerges. The guitar seems pointless. Or perhaps necessary in ways I have completely missed; a shout-out to Zhelannaya’s 1980s rock band past, perhaps?