Mammal is the first new material by Gazelle Twin to be released since The Entire City and treads similarly dark and dreamy, but more aggressive terrain.
As rich in thematic sources as its sonic palette - inspired by the 1982 Morricone score for John Carpenter’s The Thing and the intense, horror-rap of Death Grips – it explores “the alienation of human physical form” – a constantly recurring muse for Walling.
Unsettled and visceral, the lead track, I Turn My Arm, examines the phenomenon of the ‘phantom limb’, whilst the haunting and spatial This Is My Hand recounts “the fear and awe I felt when I first realised I was a physical object“. The track’s title and lyrics are linked beautifully to a quote from Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal: ”This is my hand. I can move it. Blood gushes within it…”.
The discerning listener will notice the heartbeat running through all three tracks, and so the final track sits surprisingly comfortably despite its unlikely origins – a cover of Wire’s Heartbeat (1978), approved personally by Colin Newman himself before its inclusion was decided upon.
Graced with an extraordinary set of remixes, the first comes from Clint Mansell - known internationally as favourite soundtrack composer for Darren Aronofsky’s films (Requiem For A Dream, Black Swan, Life of PI). He delivers a suitably ‘Carpenterian’ version of This Is My Hand, transforming Walling’s vocal into a new melody, in a sort of synthetic clone of itself which when accompanied by the intensifying electronic drones, adds extra eeriness to the song’s lyrics.
British dubstep artist, Kuedo (Planet Mu) aka Jamie Teasdale - better known as one half of Vex’d- explores striking new harmonies in I Turn My Arm, giving it a softer edge with his signature Oneohtrix-style, dreamy synth textures.
Renaissance Man (Turbo, Modular) approach has an instantaneous effect. A blistering but sparse industrial trip. Its focus strips the vocal away from its harmonic bed and pushes the track into a darker, even more disturbing realm.
Alixander III (Azari & III) treats I Turn My Arm with an archetypal, dark, house influence. A faster tempo and isolating the breathy, androgynous vocals which whisper and gasp in the listener’s ear.