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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 67 - 03/28/02

Ikue Mori
Labyrinth
Tzadik

Please don't cringe when I start to prattle (or tap) along with the pitta-patta of cold spring rains while trying to somehow t-tell you about "New York City Rhythms", how things like the congas in the subway tunnels can echo and coincide with the Bronx girl continually recradling the payphone behind me, ching, 'gain and again, rattling for change as well as the clopping of footsteps and serpentine screeches of the subway cars both ahead and below. Cha-cha-cha it goes, both backward chanting and forward with pants and gasps; New York can feel both timeless and running breathless. So what (breath) is betwixt the lungs?

Here, under the city, twisted snakes awaken, with this and a tourniqueting around the heart of its core heat. The cross-streets? Well, the imbrications that could be had had this release come out on a more Electronic composition sorta label (like Mego or Touch) might have put Ms. Mori, in certain reptilian eyes, into the elite of Apple-glow openers (y'know, Powerbook performers). Well, it's a secret here that Ikue is one of the best improvisers on the scene, some twenty years after rerattling the drums in DNA and remains so charming still. And coiled tight is this here secret. How the scales would have shivered, the symbols tightening up and then wobbling and ultimately crashing out had this disc been really loosed on the world. Falling through the prayer rugs with each step up the spiraling ladders, ornate patterns draped over trapped doors that collapse open again and again. Into another circle of these catacombs, plunging levels and then suctioned back up into new snake corridors. Chambers fizzle away, revealing whole pits of these hypnotizing creatures, tongues flicking, every one of them audible. All one tunnel yes, but segmented, like the wings of Quetzalcoatl's feathers, altering like the ever-rotating faces on each panel of the Tonalamatl. Levers that click and panels that slide back to reveal...

Well, Escher's woven ellipses of space and object eternities (here involving holy rings and three crimson serpents intertwined) are about as close as I can get to hinting at the secrets herein. In the impossibility of the brain's spaciousness 'tween hemispheres or ears even, the ellipsis that rears up now just gleams out from under its hood, flooding the eyes with an overwhelming nothingness. Ikue has peeled through these skins for decades now, the infinities smoothed and scaled out accordingly, ever expanding them and then inhaling the snakes back in, ruler of the varying key levels of rhythmic tumbling and sound locks, she is. Gates are shutting in and reopening at her click and command. There is a jingle of MTA conductor keys now; somehow in the roars of the tunnels I can hear them. Perhaps they will loose these lost reptilian portals and the other such forbidden cyclical paradoxes. Otherwise you'll have to come here and see her in person.

Copyright © 2002 Andy Beta e-mail address

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