Albums Of 2012. 8// The Invisible

Rispah [Released by Ninja Tune]

It’s tough being an alternative UK band, as this year’s up-and-comers Alt-J found out, the label of “the next Radiohead” is a pretty cursed one. But for The Invisiblethey seem to have been one of the first bands to be able to step outside of the massive, seemingly immortal shadow of Ok, Computer. They’re debut generated whisperings of a new band who tread the line between afrobeat, electronica, post rock and countlwess other genres with an impressive deftness. With their sophomore release Rispah the band adds even more genres to the couldron.

The overarching sound in Rispah feels utterely fluid, nothing is jerking and awkward, dramatic or surprising, to both ease you into what is a relatively ambitious collection of tracks and to mask the strong emotions that form the entire record’s foundations. A driving inspiration for the album came from lead singer and guitarist Dave Okumu’s loss of his mother, and after repeat listens and peeling back the layers on Rispah’s sounds each dedication to her reveals itself. At the end of closing track Protection the listener is steadily sunk into the sounds of rhythms of a funeral song traditional to Okumu’s family culture. Apprently this is actually a sample of his mother’s funeral, a dramatic demonstration of the catharsis held within Rispah.

All of these details are buried under waves of delay and reverberated guitars, creating a lush texture and depth that only makes peeling back these layers to find this catharsis all the more enjoyable. From start to finish this fluidity, is however, unrelenting, and upon finishing a full listening of Rispah it feels like waking from a dream of sorts, having to readjust to noises that don’t sound like they’re recorded in the Batcave, but maybe this is the intention. To make Rispah sound like one continuous dream maybe reflects the surreal nature of passing and grief, and how seperated it can be normal life.

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