*Dense drones embedded with stuttering, spitted fragments of poetry. very abstract and oblique but engaging.* "The third collaboration from poet Howe and musician Grubbs. A soundworld that germinates wildly from this most multiple and heterogenous of Howe's poems. Real-performance of the fragment-strewn text is subject to Grubbs' further deformations, scattering and layerings."
Frolic Architecture is the third collaboration from poet Susan Howe and musician David Grubbs. It follows Souls of the Labadie Tract (2007) and Thiefth (2005), both of which appeared in the Records of the Year lists in The Wire. Writing in Artforum, Bennett Simpson described Souls of the Labadie Tract as 'a confrontation with history, community, language, and sound that is truly harrowing.' Where the previous works began with prose introductions that contextualized the poems' embeddedness in history, Frolic Architecture drops the listener into a soundworld that germinates wildly from this most multiple and heterogeneous of Howe's celebrated collage poems. Looking at one of Frolic Architecture's poems on the album's cover, it's apparent why Howe initially thought the poem to be unperformable. For long stretches, it is impossible to separate Howe's real-time performance of her fragment-strewn text from Grubbs's further deformations, scatterings, and layerings. These aberrant vocalizations are placed in a landscape in which individual pitches pulse autonomously within thick chords; gravel and cicadas duet. There is no foreground, no background. Frolic Architecture is the most radical and abstract of Grubbs's and Howe's work together."