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Phemale : City Silk

Phemale City Silk LP

If you’ve never heard of Michael Donahue or his Phemale project don’t feel too bad: aside from a small but dedicated group of hardcore fans, not many people have. Something of a recluse, the Rhode Island native doesn’t really play the industry game. By his own admission, his idea of self-promotion extends about as far as the occasional all-caps Facebook status update. He doesn’t have a website, and there is very little by way of info on the net, yet he has already released eleven albums of original material, all of which are available for free via the WFMU online music archive. He’s equally hard to pin down in stylistic terms, writing from the perspectives of a cast of bizarre, fantastical characters he started developing whilst writing a screenplay at college (he often dons costumes when playing live to assist with his storytelling) and veering from guitar-driven rock to dancey electro to abrasive noise at will. Although it barely scratches the surface of the Phemale sound, Donahue’s latest album City Silk, out now on Redscroll Records, is a good place to start if you want to get acquainted, but be warned: once you pop, you’ll find it hard to stop. With found-sound collages and John Carpenter-esque sci-fi horror flick drones rubbing shoulders with thick, fuzzy basslines and poppy synths, decaying piano ballads next to Bollywood-influenced percussive jams, it’s a weird, wild ride in the back of a flying taxi, peering through rain-streaked rear windows at the neon-lit alleyways of a dystopian near-future, listening to a radio stuck between stations playing Cold Cave, Pharmakon, Tim Hecker and Timbaland. Check out City Silk highlight “Plastination” below.



About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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