The Body & Dis Fig : Orchards of a Futile Heaven

The Body Dis Fig Orchards of a Futile Heaven

Visceral, extreme, and driven by the effect of the spaces they inhabit as artists, The Body and Dis Fig represent experimentation and extremity in equal measure. Consciously avoiding repeats of past efforts and allowing their respective aesthetics to grow within their own sensibilities, both artistscatalogs display a refreshing, disarming honesty. There’s also a residue of terror in their sonic compositions that interrogates and demands the attention of the listener. 

This pairing and procedure from the collaboration is evident from “Eternal Hours,” the opening track of their collaborative album Orchards of a Futile Heaven. It’s a cacophony of haunting electric snarls woven with impressive care over cathartic, and eruptive bass. Its landscape is a wall of cascading sound and eerie silence deployed with tact to make a canvas for Felicia Chen’s (Dis Fig) vocals and shortly thereafter the register of Chip King’s (The Body) expression of pure malice. It’s an exercise in contrast, both between crushing sonic passages and immense, sonorous, if not distant vocals and shredded, pitched screaming. It is a classic formula for collaborative spaces, but as an effort, its intention is immediate and understood, nuanced and extreme in equal measure. 

The collaboration leaves an indelible impression with tracks like “To Walk a Higher Path,” with its creeping series of electronic walls, and samples finding grooves that dissipate as soon as they are constructed. Yet as that happens, crackling drone passages build with anticipation, waiting to fulminate as Chen’s voice becomes a guide through the layered discomfort. 

Rarely, does The Body or Dis Fig indulge typical paths, instead they express not dueling sentiments, but greater, overlapping desperations, anxieties, explosions of chaos quickly used as pieces to build overlapping sonic apocalypses. There is always a palpable dread, expressed among beauty that is frequently at the forefront of the work. This dread manifests exceptionally in “Coils of Kaa,” which earns its nine-minute running time, shifting its motifs enough, but never losing its sense of purpose or design within its movements. “Back to the Water” also dismounts from the album’s conceived aesthetic space and explores something more harmonious in its first half, before harnessing chaos in its second, yet still  feeling oddly warm in its background tone. 

Orchards of a Futile Heaven is an outstanding effort from two artists unifying their visions as a collective whole. The sensibilities of both The Body and Dis Fig are never jeopardized for what is essentially a marriage of droning collectives, confrontational beats, industrial samples and melodic vocalizations that manage to elicit a broad range of emotions under an oppressive and atmospheric meld. A collaborative triumph of extreme aesthetics.  

Label: Thrill Jockey

Year: 2024

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