Charlemagne Palestine - Ssingggg Sschlllingg Sshpppingg (CD Idiosyncratics)
For me just one of the countless releases by Palestine, at least so it seems. This time on Idiosyncratics, the tenth CD the label has released so far. Focus point is Palestine’s voice, and following his own established best practice of discomfort, it is special here as well. The single track (50 minutes!) is a slowly building harmonizing drone, that gets more increasingly more industrious as time passes by. In contrast with the colorfull artwork, the work reviewed here is a stunning example of monochromatic simplicity and at the same time of a profound complexity.
Palestine here mainly celebrates his own voice, as he repeats a number of times the same phrases over and over again. Layered over an ever intensifying drone in the style of “Jamaica Heineken in Brooklyn”, it is not without a sense of self mockery he cries, screams and utters with a vibrating falsetto voice that he loves to sing (well, sssingggg actually), resulting sometimes in suddenly appearing harmonics and overtones. Some 10 or minutes into this mosaic, different patterns appear, turning into eclectic selections before it goes spinning off like a Catherine wheel into many directions, all though they are either phantasmagorial, hallucinogenic or downright surreal, and with this the listener cannot conclude anything else then that Palestine is deadly serious when he whines ‘I love to Ssssinngggg.
For me this rates among the best of Palestine’s work, because every full play it gets it leaves the listener questioning what experience he has been part of, and in general that is a good thing. It is alienating, special, radically special, playful and enigmatic. PvdG