How strange are bodies? An interesting metaphysical question and also title of the track Reckno plucked from Teresa Winter’s new tape to coax people into investing in her “devotional VHS post rave meltdowns”. It’s a ploy that worked instantly on this writer with “How Strange Are Bodies?” a delightfully bizarre composition where Winter’s voice is twisted to the point of incomprehension over a backdrop of fluttering electronics that seem to acquire their own vocal harmony. As wonderful as that track is, Winter’s tape Oh Tina, No Tina doesn’t simply repeat this trick over the course of its nine tracks. It is, instead, a lot more ambitious; a dizzying ride that fills me with romantic notions of founding a record label in order to facilitate a vinyl release the more I listen.
Back to the music; Oh Tina, No Tina commences in grand fashion with “You Made Me Give You All My Love” where an instantly gratifying organ loop powers out with real life affirming joy. It’s clear from this moment you might not always grasp Winter’s lyrics, and that’s maybe the point. Her voice, quite beautiful, is implemented as an integral element of the compositions, lending an otherwordly sense to the abstract, loop and sampled based music.
As Oh Tina, No Tina progresses, it’s all too easy to throw up comparisons like Maria Minerva or Inga Copeland to describe the music, “Simon Peter James” even has that same seasick quality to it as Minerva’s 2011 track “Ruff Trade” as random jungle loops are fed through a faulty tape player. But this is a bit of a cop out to resort to such comparisons – ‘this woman sounds like that woman’ – and it denigrates a body of music that should be judged on its own merits. If there was one comparison I could make, it would be Oh Tina, No Tina is quite reminiscent in execution, if not sound, of John T. Gast’s fine Planet Mu LP Excerpts. Both weave through various, heavily atmospheric moods with aplomb and make it all too easy to leave on repeat.
Oh Tina, No Tina has been the (sort of) album that I have listened to most so far this year, and it’s left me hankering to catch Teresa Winter play live. How she mangles tracks like the thrilling one-two punch of “Place To Be” and “Fourteen Nights” in front of a captive audience is a question I’d like an answer to sooner rather than later. Despite my affections for Winter, I am yet to indulge in her debut release for another DIY tape concern, Cacao, from last year. I’m afraid of diluting the experience and joy that is Oh Tina, No Tina.
1. You Made Me Give You All My Love
2. Simon Peter James
4. Bounce 700
5. Cannot Look
6. The Place to Be
7. Fourteen Nights
8. How Strange Are Bodies?
9. All My Holes