Art As Catharsis is proud to announce ‘Thigh High Cat Tights’, the first single from Uboa‘s ‘The Sky May Be’ – an overpowering record that slips between dreamy ambience and nightmarish caverns of harsh noise.
As the first single off The Sky May Be, Thigh High Cat Tights represents Metcalfe’s most terrifying work on the album. Driven by white noise, distortion and glitched shrieks, the song rampages beyond the realms of tangible before tunnelling into a monotone plateau of drone. Thigh High Cat Tights is the audio equivalent of a hellscape for androids – all the while serving as ambassador for the digital savagery and abrasiveness Uboa is capable of.
Drawing elements from the trans-driven noise scene, Xandra Metcalfe’s work as Uboa condenses a wider range of influences into a frightening soundscape of its own. Fans of Purgist, Facialmess, Endon, Locrian, Nurse With Wound, along with artists on the No Rent and Triangle Records labels will find themselves right at home with this recording.
“I only take inspiration from things that immediately affect me,” says Metcalfe. “Various trans issues that do not get airtime in music in particular – trans subcultures, transmisogyny/transphobia, medication, passing, sterilisation, suicide and depression, isolation. A lot of the stuff about mental illness – depression, psychosis, anxiety etc. – comes directly from my experience as being trans in a cisnormative society.”
“Uboa was originally just for doom, noisy stuff that I did on a whim,” says Metcalfe. “Afterwards I used its anonymity to spread rumours I was a woman well before I was out, which was funny. It became a little vessel for me to escape myself at the time. I guess it helps me be myself? Sounds corny but true. That being said, nowadays I just use it to scare people, which is always fun.”
The Sky May Be offers a teetering balance between simmering moods and terrifying electronics. The record rattles with a sense of instability from start to finish – song structures are freeform and unbound by chorus or verse, harsh elements attack at random yet land perfectly, and it’s rare that any single track can be summed up as solely ambient or noise. The sum of the music is a feeling that pushes sound and mind to its limits, reaping new forms of terror and weakness as the seconds pass by. This unbridled creativity is in a class of its own, unshackled by the boundaries of genre or traditional construction – it’s within this freedom that The Sky May Be sets itself as one of this year’s most important releases in Australian harsh noise.
Uboa’s The Sky May Be sees release on 18 October via Art As Catharsis.
Their first single, Thigh High Cat Tights is available for streaming now.
Uboa also performs live on the line-up for Negfest 2018: Melbourne at the Reverence Hotel on 22 September.