Cathari – Cathari

An unknown band on an unknown label. A modern sleeve which can be associated with various styles. With a blank mind I put this album in my cd-player. After about 8 minutes I ran to the player to push the ‘stop-button’. Was it that bad? On the contrary. The strangily titled first track ‘Astrological clock fortells the return of satan’ left me speechless and I wanted to listen to it again. And again. 8 minutes of pure beauty to drown in. An instrumental track somewhere between ambient electronica and post-rock. The guitars reminded me somewhat of early Cure, Eyeless in Gaza or Felt. There is an unbelievable tension in the building up of the song. Rhythms, moody synths or sampled voices come at just the right time. The song never reaches a real climax, but there is a great interaction between restraining and letting loose.

It is hard to really grasp the music of Cathari. Perhaps that has something to do with their varied influences. I read on an internetpage that they are inspired by the likes of Brian Eno, Morcheeba, OMD, DM, Cure, Aphex Twin, Psychic TV, Negative Land… I would like to add a little shoegaze dose of 4AD or some ethereal Projekt stuff.

This young four-piece act from Omaha also set up their own label Isochromatic Records, which makes a professional impression, just like this release. There is a lot of variation on Cathari’s untitled debut album. ‘Popeholder’ has a more conventional approach. This song is lead by excellent female vocals and a driving bass and has a triphoppy feel.

‘Thedrinkingmilkpart’ has a more experimental instrumental droney background, while the singing reminds of nursery rhymes. The sampled male voice (from an old film or telephone call) gives it an estranging element. ‘$8.58’ have lovely dreamy vocals, spacious guitars and modern clicking beats. Like in most tracks there is a lot of atmosphere. Cathari also has included some less accessible tracks towards the end, like ‘1 minute of 10’ or ‘Abortion party’, with experimental ambient and industrial elements.

Cathari combines the best of 80’s wave and contemporary electronic music on their debut. An original and daring mixture of elements, carefully put together. You can hear that this album is the outcome of a long creative process and the input of a lot of talent and dedication. The sound is thoughtful, dense and polished. Especially the first track is stunning! I could tell quite a lot about this recommended album, but you can better listen for yourself on the Isochromatic website.

artist: Cathari
label: Isochromatic
details: [chroma 3]