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Abnormal Love by THREAD.

A diverse masterpiece that blends the intricate sampling and instrumental programming of Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) with sonorous vocals, this album is a powerful example of dark, modern electronics.

Born without hands, creator James Izzo/THREAD has portrayed himself as a true cybernetic musician. With the use of metal hooks, his electronic pieces are subtle moments rich with anger, beauty and chaos. Building on his collaborative efforts with JARBOE (former Swans chanteuse) as well as his remix efforts for the enigmatic COIL, Abnormal Love blends noisy soundscapes with moments of melodic bliss and minimal experimental electronica..

Opening with the shock of “The Horror of the Undeserved Gift”, which continues in two other subsequent parts, Abnormal Love deftly moves in and around the carousel-esque: “A Cloud Without Form”, to the drum ‘n’ bass inspired instrumentals: “The Malformed Heart” and “God’s Morse Code”. “Blue Darkness” is imperialistic and orchestral, with spoken word vocals in Japanese, lending it an exotic flavor, reminiscent of an ancient feudal land. The serene “Saudade” is simple piano and synthwork, blending into the aching “Segue (Buried Twins)”. The wistful ”Skyscrapers and Sand” follows, with its desperate, wandering solitude.

Of course, two tracks that will garner attention are “In Sweet Sorrow” and “Contours”; both of which feature impressive guest vocals from Jarboe. The tracks are masterful duets that not only highlight each artist’s unique vocal style, but also Izzo’s dedication to his succinct, darkly abstract poetry.

Jarboe first appeared with THREAD on the “In Sweet Sorrow” CDEP. Released in 2000 as an introduction for Abnormal Love, it received extremely favorable reviews and charted on several key college stations as reported by CMJ. The version of “ISS” that appears on the new album seduces our subconscious with an unusual melding of rhythmic noise and melodic repetition. In this same way Abnormal Love builds the familiar into tense textured collections, seamlessly creating, distorting, and changing Izzo’s dark personal experience into a chaotic yet inspired collage of intensity and eventual release.