She Spread Sorrow - Rumspringa [Cold Spring Records - 2015]The mighty Cold Spring imprint presents Rumspringa, the debut CD by She Spread Sorrow. SSS is the moniker of Italian sound artist Alice Kundalini, perhaps better known for her work in Deviated Sister TV. While I’m not particularly familiar with Kundalini’s work, I’ve yet to be disappointed by a Cold Spring release.
Rumspringa delivers 6 tracks of brooding electronic soundscapes; a haunting mix of cold industrial noise and dark ritual power electronics. Rumspringa, to the best of my knowledge, is a term used to a describe a period of time when Amish teens are allowed a greater amounts of freedom to explore and ultimately decide whether to embrace their faith or leave the community. While I’m not totally sure of Rumspringa’s meaning in the context of this album, from a creative standpoint it’s an apt metaphor, as Kundalini’s has really spread her wings with this offering.
The album begins with “Spring of Regret.” Layers of pulsing electronics and dense ambience meld with low end, muscular noise and freeform blustering static. Some added high end twist, turns, and squeal gives the piece an eerie Bastard Noise Rogue Astronaut vibe. “Herself Denial” motors along with the sounds of multiple sputtering synth sounds, reverberating pings, squeals, and whispered vocals. “Red Rumspringa” offers plodding beats, elongated slabs of swelling and receding synth tones, and somber, hushed vocal work. The penultimate track “Chastity,” presents bright crystalline pings, restrained beats, and heavily delayed vocals. Kundalini ends the album with “Seven Daughters,” which really captures the industrial factory vibe. Exhaust-like atmospherics, repetitive synth, pin drop pings, machinery alive and moving, all meld with softly spoken vocals to wrap up this worthy debut.
In conclusion, Rumspringa is a really impressive first offering, which I’m sure is just the beginning of many albums to follow. Inevitably people will draw comparisons to Puce Mary or Pharmakon, which is all well and good, but She Spread Sorrow really has her own sound going on. Another excellent offering from the folks at Cold Spring. Hal Harmon