The tenth instalment in My Dance The Skull’s fertile Voice Studies series sees Daniel Spicer – perhaps best known for his written work in Wire magazine – turn his hand to rapid-fire percussion and seemingly improvised couplets based around the idea of an autonomous mind.
‘Let the body attend to the things of the body/The mind will take care of itself’ is the quavered refrain that opens ‘Let The Body Attend (for Angus MacLise)’ before a clatter of drums and bells raises the tempo and the couplets become more jumbled: ‘Let the body attend to the things of the body/The mind is a page/Let the body attend to the things of the body/The rivers are flowing upstream!’ and so on… becoming more and more random as the track progresses. As with all Voice Studies tapes, this is resolutely artistic. Its (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek stab at New Age gibberish parading as self-help mantra is amusing but not necessarily the kind of thing you’ll be playing on a daily basis. Female whispers undercut proceedings, repeating Spicer’s proclamations before the track ends with a gong.
Side B, ‘The Diamond Life (for Henry Flynt)’, is no less obtuse. Here Spicer speaks in tongues over a frantically scraped violin as a variety of acolytes (including Dylan Nyoukis) are brought in to help out, shouting in the background and holding conversations amongst themselves in a foreign language. I prefer this track, if only for its descent into flat-out madness towards the end.