The recording of Xiu Xiu’s »Forget«, their first outing on Altin Village & Mine, fell into a period of epic productivity for the group. While bringing Forget into the world, Shayna Dunkelman, Angela Seo and Jamie »Butch Jenny« Stewart released the celebrated »Plays the Music of Twin Peaks«, collaborated with Mitski on a song for an upcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, composed music for art installations by Danh Vo, recorded an album with Merzbow and scored an experimental reworking of the Mozart opera, The Magic Flute. Far from resulting in a scattered by-product, the frantic external activity gave rise to a softly damaged dreaminess as well as a direct and broadened intent that marks a new level of focus in Xiu Xiu’s catalog.
The album was produced by John Congleton (Blondie, Sigur Ros), Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu’s own Angela Seo. It features guest appearances by fabled minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, L.A. Banjee Ball superstar commentator Enyce Smith, Swans guitar virtuoso Kristof Hahn and legendary drag artist and personal hero of Xiu Xiu, Vaginal Davis. With this all-star cast amongst them, the band delivers an album of carefully crafted, tender pop songs, which, even at their quietest (see the remarkable »Get Up«, for example), are implanted in blissed out, full-on instrumentation that blur the lines between abstraction and pop delivery. Standout track »Wondering« is one of the catchiest boogie pop gems in the Xiu Xiu catalog, but like all of Forget, it bears an underlying tension that manifests differently in each piece, from the haunted guitar duet of »Petite«, to the advanced industrial boxing match of »Jenny GoGo«, or the experimental goth explosion of »Faith, Torn Apart«.
The calligraphy on the cover translates literally to »we forget«. It bows to the universality of the inevitable decline and foggy disappearance of everything and everyone. Regarding the album title, singer Jamie Stewart said, »To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear.« In the back and forth of the consolatory and unsettling textures on Forget, the album is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic past as well as the trampling pain of a beautiful decay.
released February 24, 2017
Catalog Number: AVM 061
Produced by John Congleton, Greg Saunier & Angela Seo; Recorded by Jamie Stewart at Nurse; Mixed by John Congleton at Elmwood; Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side
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