F Ingers - Awkwardly Blissing Out LP
Label: Blackest Ever Black
A trio comprising Tarquin Manek, Sam Karmel and Carla Dal Forno, F ingers creep and curl all through Awkwardly Blissing Out, the unnerving and brilliant follow-up to 2015's Hide Before Dinner. Arrangements creep from the corners in queasy synth fogs as skeletal rhythms of stutter-step basslines, flanged drum machines and muffled handclap flurries eddy in a collapsing gyre of echo. F ingers sculpt a subterranean dub at once spectral and sensuous.
The runic psychedelia of Dal Forno's vocal limns the edges of songs, carving contours with washes of wordless tone and delay-smeared chirrups. As with both the previous F ingers album and Dal Forno's stunning solo debut You Know What It's Like, for this reviewer, one of 2016's standout releases, this is an unusually dense minimalism, its gauzy fragments of menace and melody hanging in negative space, distant yet looming.
Listening to this new album by F ingers, a series of dazzling postpunk counterfactuals press against your bleary eyes: sides three and four of Tago Mago cut to Adrian Sherwood's Tascam, Virginia Astley sitting in with This Heat, Liz Harris taking a knife to Bourbonese Qualk tapes. But even such vaunted comparisons stop well short of doing justice to the music on Awkwardly Blissing Out, which is undoubtedly among the best you will hear, this or any year.