Monday, 30 December 2013

Pattern Recognition: James Ferraro’s NYC, Hell 3:00 AM


Pattern Recognition 7 was on James Ferraro's latest album NYC, Hell 3:00 AM (click here to read). I was particularly pleased with how this one came out. There's a running theme of exhaustion and damage.

Up there, there’s Drake and Kanye, raging and weeping in their gloomy fortresses. Down here, under the dust, sirens and steaming vents, under the sidewalk and the rattling subway, under the dripping pipes and skeletons, here’s our James Ferraro, standing guard over a kingdom of rats...

Sorry we ran out of milk, but here’s your shot of James Ferraro, now fuck off...

Rather than being amazed, dazzled and possessed, NYC, Hell 3:00 AM weighs you down like a ghoul on your back and a concrete block chained to your legs. Far from presenting a particular concept—you don’t know what it’s about, can’t put your finger on a unifying reference or a commentary, can’t quite make the ends meet—the album’s power is in its dragging you into darkness. It’s like a flashlight shone into a pool in an otherwise lightless cavern, illuminating a few motes in a dull greyish beam that fades several feet later, leaving little impression of how far down it goes...


As they perform, the speckled, downcast members of Ferraro’s arcane backing band don’t make eye contact with each other or anyone else, but somehow their disunity settles, like silt...

The urgent but numbed scrubbing of hands and forearms in slow motion of “QR JR”, a ritual intermittently pierced by clock chimes and anxiety. The thin, suspended vocal of “Beautiful Jon K”, a human monument. In “Upper East Side Pussy”, a monastic refrain rolled like a carpet and pushed up the stairs as if after the occupant of a home has passed away...

NYC, Hell 3:00 AM is not just what happens to a city, but what happens to the public façade, the lungs, the muscles, and the mind, too...

No comments:

Post a comment