Nina Walsh`s Woodleigh Research Facility have relocated – from Facility 4 to 5 – and to celebrate have released a new E.P. The opener, Too Many Good Things, is the sort of fizzing, peak-time, floor-filling, electro-funk that fans will have come to expect. A rigid robotic groove, of machined handclaps, and a huge 4 / 4 kick, intricate with glitches, and showered with soundsystem, soundclash, SFX. But it`s the two actual songs that complete the set which caught my ear. Both feature Nina on vocals, and both seem to channel the hard-earned wisdom of Marianne Faithfull, at least that’s what I hear. Her delivery a little cracked, from a life lived less ordinary, but defiant, with a clarity drawn from been there, done that. Alchemy is the dancer, echoing the deliciously dark new wave funk of Marianne’s masterpiece, Broken English. The production dubbed out, strobed with sinister, angular, tremolo`d twists. The chorus, spooky, siren-like, seductively cruising the shadows, prowling like the Panther Moderns of William Gibson`s Sprawl.
The title track, though, All Is Not Lost, is an ethereal ballad. A short, but still epic, riff and rhyme on mortality’s cycle, and the immortality of art. How our humanity hopefully touches others. The legacy we leave. Constructed from oddly tuned keys, squeezed and stretched notes, it`s a nod to Nico, where Marble Index and Desert Shore meet Eno, meet American Spring. Or Ghost Box version The Scream`s Shine Like Stars. From Marianne’s canon, it soars, bruised but graceful, on the same thermals as her El Gavilan / The Hawk.
Woodleigh Research Facility’s All Is Not Lost is available now on Bandcamp.