Hey Dude, Nice Apps

Jarboe dissects digitalia.

WITH HER WARM drawl and "Howdy, c'mon in" manner, Jarboe seems like such a nice personon the phone, anyway. You'd certainly never take the ex-Swans warbler/keyboardist for the sort of virtual vixen who lures each of her many musical collaborators with seductive preliminary tracks, impregnates the sound files they offer up with her own powerful and perverse visions, and leaves them drained of zeros and ones.

But, as this artificial inseminatrix of the digital domain explains from her home in Atlanta, online collaboration is her preferred modus operandi these days. "It's great to put tracks up on a server, then discuss the song via e-mail," she says. "The 'I like this, I don't like this' sort of thing, and just work till the song is finished. It's a much more relaxed way of working than going into a studio. Nobody I know uses commercial studios anymore unless maybe they're looking for a particular room sound or need to mike a drum kit."

Neither Jarboe nor any of her collaborators needed to mike much of anything on her new self-released CD, Dissectedwith one exception. Despite its electronic origins, the album, mostly remixes by the likes of Brian Lustmord and Coil pals Thread, eschews the dance floor in favor of the killing floor. She sings about both subjectsmurder and death. Granted, she also grants space to love, sex, obsession, and domination from time to time. On "The Nature of the Beast," a gorgeous Lustmord-remixed piece of electronic exotica, Jarboe covers all of the above, cooing, "I'll just spread my legs/Since you stitched my lips together," in her most limpid Yma Sumac-meets-Kathleen Battle voice over a backing track that sounds as though it might have been created by Scorn channeling Martin Denny.

Jarboe sports the mark of Cain as proudly as a Williamsburg hipster modeling a new mesh cap for Vice. And it suits her, especially on "The Inner Geometry of Murder (Medieval Dub)" and "Live Killer Duet," a live duet (surprise!) with Backworld that actually finds both of them singing and playing guitars in front of microphones. The carnage gives Jarboe an appropriate opportunity to display her formidable extended vocal chops (nobody can approximate the sound of a deranged Raggedy Ann doll as well as she). And the murder tracks provide a showcase for her dark and abundant sense of humor. "To me, there's a very lighthearted feel to Dissected," she notes. And she's right.


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