Agitated Atmosphere: Various - Does Your Cat Know My Dog?

Does-Your-Cat-Know-My-Dog

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Does Your Cat Know My Dog?.

At first glance, it may be hard to completely sell anyone on the notion of Does Your Cat Know My Dog as some complete vision of avant art. A quick glance at the track list and you’ll notice some rather comforting names. But sandwiched inbetween tracks from Will Oldham and Sonic Youth, there hides treasures from some of the most talented and elusive musicians of our day.

Does Your Cat Know My Dog is the second compilation released from fledgling Paris outfit, Three:Four, and much like the label’s first--Err on the Good Side--the mix of well worn names, newcomers, and unknowns seamlessly blend to create a proper album rather than just a chunk of mixed songs. Of course, as with any good compilation, there will be a few standouts that rise above the flow to stand out. Look no further than “I’m Washing Your Feet” from Your Fault. The dual female voices have an airy, yet dark quality; as if Jarboe was channeling Peter Murphy. The subdued piano melody accompanying the pair does little to lift the funeral pall that hangs over the simple but effective track. The form of minimalism wrought by Your Fault continues as a fragile string holding the compilation together. The mellow piano of “Gold Smatter,” by Joe Galen sheds its soft exterior, however, in favor of transforming into an electronic blitz of syncopated rhythms not far removed from Thom Yorke’s cyborg, The Eraser. Yet the fragility of the track is unfazed by the mounting tempo and pulsating rhythms.

Those looking to Does Your Cat Know My Dog? for a challenge must look no further than “Not Every Chamber Has a Door” from Sum of R. The murky track is a mesh of low-end bass, stoic cymbal crashes, and screeching strings slowly clawing itself out from the primordial sludge of creation. When paired with Sunn O)))’s behemoth, “Isengard,” “Not Every Chamber Has a Door,” only spreads its darkness among the compilation, breaking the fragile collection into fragmented pieces of doubt and remorse. The effect is well received and lends Does Your Cat Know My Dog? the weight needed to be a continued draw.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who also runs the webzine, Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.

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