Label: Conspiracy International/CTI
Format: LP, Coloured
‘Feral Vapours of the Silver Ether’ (2007) was the 2nd album by Chris & Cosey as Carter Tutti after 2004’s ‘Cabal’. The project was their concerted effort to explore more sensual, even psychedelic, forms after more than 25 years of defining synth-pop and techno-pop in their own image since departing from pioneering industrial band Throbbing Gristle. Anyone expecting Chris Carter’s puckered, ductile rhythms may be left wanting by this album, but anyone who loves his sleek, layered synth contours, or the intoxicating presence of Cosey’s voice and brass are strongly encouraged to revel in its sexy sensuousness, and especially so if they haven’t already.
For some historic context, ‘Feral Vapours of the Silver Ether’ was realised during a period when Chris & Cosey were getting the old band back together for Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Part Two - The Endless Knot’, which also appeared in 2007 with corresponding live shows. It was a period fraught with internecine squabble and stress (as outlined in Cosey’s ‘Art, Sex, Music’) due to working with Gen again, and it’s maybe possible to hear Carter Tutti here decompressing and meditatively focussing on themselves.
An ideal way into the album is its highlight ‘Acid Tongue’, with Cosey’s folksy lilt splitting difference between Angela Conway and Teresa Winter, and perfectly suspended in the ether of her husband, Chris’ slow, spangled synths. Or you might as well start at the front with ‘So Slow the Knife’, which lays out ideas nodding to Martin Denny’s exotica or Hassell’s 4th world motifs in Cosey’s cornet and Chris’s lolling pulses, while ‘Black Dust’ and the foreboding, NWW-esque ‘Feral Vapours’ closer will find favour with dark ambient souls.