Ora Iso

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Bathcat (2014), 7/10
Image Certifies (2018), 6/10

New York's duo Ora Iso, i.e. Indonesian-born and Australian-raised keyboardist and vocalist Kat Malay and guitarist Jason Kudo , resurrected the no-wave of the late 1970s on Bathcat (Ba Da Bing, 2014). She emits anemic laments a` la Lydia Lunch while he tortures his shrieking atonal guitar a` la Arto Lindsay in the terrifying blues of Florida. The seven-minute danse macabre Ora Iso implodes in a lengthy instrumental coda of agonizing guitar distortion. It feels like a painful ritual of self-immolation through the ceremonial litany of Daria, the industrial slocore of Meat Grinder, the psychedelic slumber of Dropped, and the dilated ghostly ballad Lower. The closer, Crypto Squalor, accompanies the stately hymn-like singing with metallic noise and Jimi Hendrix-ian glissandoes.

Image Certifies (Downwards, 2018) doesn't have the same anguished power, the same existential torment, but still boasts some cathartic immersions in musical depression. Deep Fix is another threnody for screaming guitar and mournful chant. As her singing becomes less primal and more operatic, Dead Riot is beginning to sound like a punk version of apocalyptic sphinx Diamanda Galas. The martial noir ballad Keep Your Boot On and the hypnotic horror lament Digital Crutch have expressionist overtones, music coming from the otherworld. The closer, Wicked Gain, is a synth-pop cover of Chris Isaak's I Don't Want to Fall in Love.

She moved back to Indonesia and he moved to the mountains of New Hampshire.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )