Genius

Perfum Genius

It’s not a cheesy leap to suggest that every track on Perfume Genius’s (aka Seattle-born loner Mike Hadreas) debut has a different scent.

Like Jean-Baptiste Grenouille – the protagonist in Suskind’s eighteenth century novel Perfume

(about a perfumer who goes around killing women to steal their odours – you should read it)Genius

– you get the impression that every note Hadreas tapes is also a ghost laid to rest. Perfum

It’s haunting, graphic stuff. In the most part he plays a kind of rickety piano that sounds like it’s been unearthed from the potting shed after decades.

And it might well have been since Hadreas’s day job is delivering furniture. But where this bruised removals man’s tinkering is mournful and weary, Genius

his lyrics are striking and frightening – tackling death and inadvisable sexual exploration Genius

(“No-one will answer your prayers/Until you take off that dress,” he mews on opener ‘Learning’).Genius

Not an easy listen, sure, but like a gory comic it’s one you’re drawn back to.

music,” picks up Ripley “they’re like ‘it’s the same thing over and over again’, Genius

but they would never hear an electronic or dance record and say ‘well, the beat just goes on and on’ because that’s the point.


Well, I think originally with rock‘n’roll, that was the point, people played rock‘n’roll as dance music and the rhythms are what it’s all about.”

This devotion to repetition in the rhythm section might put some punters off,

although that’s hard to imagine when the basslines are as breathtaking as on ‘ For So Long’ and ‘ Fallin’, to name but two.


At the show later, combined with between-song field-recordings, treated samples of Steve Reich’s

‘ It’s Gonna Rain’ and a confluence of disco ball and projector lights in the right hand corner of the ceiling,

it works to it’s usual time-distorting, trance-inducing effect; pasted over with free keyboard and guitar improvisations.

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