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Cult With No Name - Above As Below (Trakwerx, 2012)


ImageThe release date of Cult With No Name's fifth release Above as Below (01/01/2012) could somehow be considered symbolic. It's certainly a great way to start the year for the band's fans and followers. For not only are CWNN one of a kind - how many otherpost-punk electronic balladeers can you name? - but because they are true krafstmen (sic), a band that never cheat nor allow themselves to be cheated. Already people like Brett Anderson (Suede), John Foxx are recognising CWNN's solid songwriting, and for Above as Below the band call on the skills of a number of respectful guests; Tuxedomoon's Bruce Geduldig and Luc van Lieshout, John Ellis ofStranglers' and Peter Gabriel fame, Meg Maryatt from labelmates 17 Pygmies and Kelli Ali once of the Sneaker Pimps.


Above as Below continues to softly define CWNN's sound, with a combination of recognisable atmospheres alongside newly inducted shades and styles. Always seductively elegant and more intriguing with every passing tone, the production is one that is precise, where nothing is either leftover nor intrusive. The result is a splendid pop travelogue, which in some places offers a quite spectacular and colourful view. We are privileged to meet Howard Devoto in some European metropolis in search of urban twilight, Eno and Bowie walking past in headphones, a nostalgic Colin Newmanchatting to a relaxed Stranglers, backed by deconstructed trip hop, and ambientintermezzos with a touch of neoclassicism and a chamber mood.


On the basis of this album, CWNN needn't worry about being marginalised with the passage of time. Sure, there are some huge bands that know how to tickle the sentiments of the populus, but it's the lesser known bands like Cult With No Name that are the real ingredients keeping popular music alive and inspiring. Cults are there to be rediscovered, reinvented and redefined, and this one is for long contemplation.


Author: Mileta Okiljevic