There was a period in the 60s - a psychedelic phase when some people were seemingly "OUT-THERE" having a whale of a time and others were frankly bamboozled or petrified by the ramifications of such a cultural onslaught. What was it about? Was there a point?
The envelope pushing witnessed then, however influential and profound, was nothing majorly novel or new. You could argue true early originality began with ancient African tribes tapping out weird new drumbeats or even a youngster embellishing a cave wall with something "different" ~~ a symbol or painting. Art and humans have been co-habiting for a long time!
Obviously as humans developed smarter cognition such artistic and intellectual changes grew and got more complex. Thereafter true Avant-Garde ideas emerged and despite being greeted with initial rejection and unacceptability they inevitably sped up change because they led to and of course still do lead to aesthetic innovation. NEW IDEAS ARE HANDY! THE STATUS QUO IS NOT ALWAYS CORRECT OR BENEFICIAL!
With such tenets and conceptual groundwork laid down let's get to late October 2020 and NETTA GOLDHIRSCH'S excellent album "LOVE DOESN'T EXIST". With a brave and evocative encapsulating moniker it's a boundary pushing and genuine Avant-Garde body of work. Ragged, kooky and pretty: it's a patchwork ouevre of poetry, ditties, beats, ballads, ups and downs, spoken word and frankly some very odd coruscating bits and excoriating bobs. Somehow it holds together very well. It will alienate many and make others smile approvingly.
There are fleeting triphop shades, Netta's voice often soars and hovers like Beth Gibbons, but then I hear snippets, tiny Bjork bits, sparks of Joanna Newsom and Tori Amos and Kate Bush. I must EMPHASISE THOUGH despite those reference points this is not a pop or even rock album. It undoubtedly boasts four or five stunning songs, potential winners, but it's not about that. Netta is essentially an artist, a visionary, who breaks with precedent and is primarily experimental, radical, and unorthodox. Groundbreaking!
When I communicated with Pete Murphy her co-manager and friend asking more about her due to a degree of mystery he said, "Netta isn't really an overly political person or artist. She... rarely leaves her house. She's one of the most complex, deep people I've ever met..."
A warrior artistically, she is possibly shy and fragile as a person. As a reviewer I can only guess! As an artist though I know: she's "Out There!" and "Avant Garde!"
If blatant lazy calculated pop is your thing I recommed you run away as quickly as you can because just like a machine-gun amalgam of the maddest Danielle Dax, Robert Wyatt and John Cage tracks she'll leave you panicky, out of breath, uber-confused and possibly irreversibly damaged. GREAT STUFF! APPROACH WITH CARE!
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