Blackmouth-2000_1 (1)

A collaboration between Jarboe, John Bergin, and Brett Smith, BLACKMOUTH DELUXE features eleven new songs released in 2019 (tracks 1-11), and also ncludes the first BLACKMOUTH album originally released in 2000 (tracks 12-25).

Written, Performed, Mixed, and Produced by :

Jarboe, John Bergin, and Brett Smith

Blackmouth Deluxe and To Forget Time e.p. Cover Artwork: John Bergin

Mastering: Robert Rich at Soundscape Studios, Mountain View, CA (tracks 1-11) and John Bergin (tracks 12-25)

Publishing:

Jarboe Music ASCAP

Grinder Tool & Die BMI

Blackgnome ASCAP

…………

MY STRUGGLE

You’re tolerated and secretly hated by the culture you’ve appropriated.

Private school educated, you were hungry as “a form of rebellion.”

And is bragging about your sexual prowess, the only way you can empower yourself ?

You’ll never know my struggle

You’ll never know my struggle

You’ll never know my struggle

You’ll never know my struggle

You’ll never know my struggle

You’ll never know my struggle

You were hungry as “a form of rebellion.”

 

BLACK PULSE GRAIN

[Jarboe]
so here’s a little fable for all you kids out there! ready for your conversion? don’t fall don’t fall i fall i fall a boy who paints your pain his paint it drips like rain a boy who paints your pain in your veins the black pulse grain takes a picture with radiation blue ink flows through nerve endings inside the brain you have been converted don’t fall don’t fall i fall i fall a girl who paints her pain her paint it drips in vain the girl who paints her pain her paint it aches it blames takes a picture with radiation dissected enlarged upon the screen magnified blue ink flows through nerve endings inside the brain blue ink flows through you have been converted seal the capsule shut you have been converted a boy who paints your pain his paint it drips like rain a boy who paints your pain in your veins the black pulse pain the girl who paints her pain her paint it drips in vain the girl who paints her pain her paint it aches it blames a poet who paints your pain the paint it drips like rain a poet who paints the pain in your veins the black pulse grain.

THE BURN

[Jarboe]
he stepped into the ring he knew he was cool he knew the women were looking and the money was his all the men felt admiration or envy he flipped the keys to the valet and with a long slow and deliberate stride he turned on that place or burned it down or burned it down slipping his hands across nylon-bound flesh, under her dress, gently squeezing her thigh… the night was his so was she burn it down

THE CONVERSION

[Jarboe]
i’ve been trying to find the reason and you know what? i don’t think there is a reason or an answer to it it’s just all of this well weren’t we meant to be it? i can’t deny it can you deny it what you want what i need and then just…you know the rest and all of this is well its not like that.

INNER ALIEN

[Jarboe]
heaven is inside my belly i swallowed it there are all these things inside there but the thing i recall was all that i saw threaded its way round and round through my veins down and down through my veins round and round through my veins down and down through my veins into my womb hell is inside my body i ate it there are all these things inside there but the thing i recall was but the thing i recall was but the thing i recall was all that i saw threaded its way round and round through my veins down and down through my veins round and round through my veins down and down through my veins into my womb i can’t cry and it dies it can’t breathe it can’t see hell is inside my body i ate it

NEW SMOTHER

[Jarboe]
you suffocate me, honey
you suffocate
i see my death in your eyes
i see my death
won’t be taken by you
you’ll destroy me

RISEN

[Jarboe]
i’m running i’m free i go anywhere i please when you cut me, i don’t bleed no i don’t bleed i’m dancing on your grave i have erased what you used to say i am free i am free i am free today we’re laughing at the moon we’re shouting i am not he i am not heeeee we can dance we can laugh bury your bitterness bury your bitterness bury your bitterness bury your bitterness bury your bitterness when you cut me i don’t bleed no i don’t bleed.

SEDUCE AND DESTROY

[Jarboe]
i can’t make you understand me i won’t try it you just talk and you don’t listen when i speak you just think of what you want to say i don’t want interaction i don’t want information so don’t involve me so you say contentment is boring and life is just so dull a girl needs strife to live a rich life you know what i say—- now mary had a little lamb and everywhere that mary went that lamb would go mary kills the little lambs and everywhere that mary goes the blood does flow can i believe in you i believe in me can i believe in you will you hurt me i will never hurt you do you love me i will always love you i will always love you i will always love you i will always love you i will always love you i will always seduce and destroy! mary had a little lamb and everywhere that mary went that lamb would go mary kills the little lambs and everywhere that mary goes the blood does flow.

SURRENDER FOR HIS HEART

[Jarboe]
last night as he made love to her, holding him, she realized that this was the only time she was close to him, truly close to him….she didn’t want it to end… he began to move into her in such a way as to force her to orgasm…she asked him to stop because she didn’t want to disconnect from him–which is what orgasm had come now to signify. felt herself surrender for his heart. moments later, the doorbell rings. she walks into the living room and sees Harvey Keitel, nude, wearing a vibrant green colored mask with horns and a painted red grin. he crouches on the porch motionless – perfectly still like a statue holding what looks like a machete. he squats – facing the door – holding the machete – ready for her to answer the door. felt herself surrender for his heart.

from iTunes :

A striking collaboration between Jarboe and two members of Trust Obey, John Bergin and Brett Smith, Blackmouth finds the three creating an appropriately mysterious album with a definite edge. Jarboe’s ability to mark and interpret feelings of rage and sexual power crossed with epic, mystic visions of love, life, and loss makes a perfect starting point for Bergin and Smith’s haunting music. Starting with the first of three versions of “The Conversion” — this one subtitled “Silent” due to its dark ambient flow behind Jarboe’s keening verses, the other two bringing more beats and sharper vocals to the fore — Blackmouth creates an album that will appeal to an already primed goth/industrial audience and can reach out beyond that to the adventurous listener. Importantly, as with their own individual work, the trio doesn’t feel the need to be competing in a realm of who can make the loudest or hardest music. Many songs subtly suggest clattering, murky depths rather than outlining them fully, as the brief, instrumental title track and “Surrender to the Heart” readily capture. The delicacy Bergin and Smith bring to the music at many points is perfectly captivating, such as the inclusion of a descending keyboard melody toward the end of “The Black Pulse Grain” contrasting with a softly distorted rhythm break, or the wheezing sounds and piano making up “Inner Alien,” with gripping images of pregnancy and anger. “The Burn,” with its recurrent, clattering loop backing Jarboe’s alternately low-key singing and wordless keening, makes for one of the best moments, containing plenty of energy without pumping the mix up to 11. Even the wordless numbers carry plenty of Jarboe’s unmistakable power — “And I Call Myself Hag,” consisting mostly of various overdubs of Jarboe’s entrancing voice, is probably the secret highlight of the album as a whole, as spiritual and involving as any gospel number or musical invocation of Allah.


TWO REVIEWS FROM PIETER UYS, SOUTH AFRICA 

Originally released in 2000, Blackmouth was created in collaboration with John Bergin and Brett Smith. The work is striking for its coherence despite a stylistic diversity which appears bewildering at first. The genre is indeterminable; ‘industrial’ would be hopelessly restrictive. Various ambiances surface here, as do metallic guitar-driven rock (Seduce and Destroy), melodious pop with a sense of unease (Risen), elements of the torch song (Inner Alien) and a prototype of Jarboe’s “sonosphere” (And I Call Myself Hag). Classical music in diverse styles forms part of its atmospheric essence.
Blackmouth opens with the ‘silent’ version of ‘The Conversion,’ a symphonic synth piece with minimal lyrics and Jarboe’s voice in echo mode. Ominous percussive patterns blend with thudding bass on the brief title track, an instrumental with some disembodied vocal elements. The intricate vocal and instrumental arrangements of ‘Black Pulse Grain’ contain many layers, lending it a simultaneously appealing and unsettling air.
‘Risen’ has the same hypnotic quality as some of the ‘nursery rhyme’ type chants on the album Beautiful People Ltd, a charming melody for a sinister theme. The undulating ‘Bloodless Mix’ of ‘Risen’ gives Blackmouth its most captivating rhythmic flow. The tempo picks up with the equally melodious, ‘The Burn’, a buoyant piece characterized by rattling percussive and chant-like vocal textures.
The experimental track ‘And I Call Myself Hag’ showcases the power of Jarboe’s voice in multiple overdubs, whilst the elegant sounds of the piano driven art song ‘Inner Alien,’ initially obscures the intensity of the lyrics. This is the only track which comes close to resembling anything on her album Disburden Discipline which was released the same year. The seductive ‘Smother’ could easily be taken for a torch song, dark torch like her work in The World of Skin.
The ‘cruel’ version of ‘The Conversion’ which concludes the album is an out and out industrial excursion with heavy dance beats amid rumbling, whirring, whooshing, and reverb and echo, whilst the ‘relapse’ version has an intriguing blend of drones and edgy percussion with arresting organ infusions against a symphonic canvas. A delicate masterpiece follows it, the instrumental ‘In A World of Her Own’ which evokes an aching beauty, a sigh too deep for words. Like ‘Under Will’ on the album Anhedoniac or ‘Realm’ on Indemnity II.
The uptempo and edgy ‘Surrender For His Heart’ is a surrealistic narrative framed by distant background voices expressing emotions on the extreme side of the spectrum. Ferocious eruptions of metallic guitar accompany Jarboe’s vox personae on the alternatively soothing and abusing ‘Seduce and Destroy’ which also contains snippets of the aforementioned sinister lullaby style rhyme, here bound up with explosions of rage.
On Blackmouth, certain of Jarboe’s recurring stylistic explorations may be discerned. Rooted in Swans, the early solo albums and Beautiful People Ltd., they exist here fully refined in the context of the work as a whole, like beautiful moments captured in time. It’s interesting to hear how some were developed on, for instance, the 2003 album Neurosis & Jarboe. It is also striking that the sound of Blackmouth differs so markedly from her solo albums of more or less the same period, Anhedoniac and Disburden Disciple. That must be due to the fact that her genius seamlessly merged with that of her collaborators John Bergin and Brett Smith to create something totally unique. 

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Blackmouth is a collaboration of Jarboe with John Bergin and Brett Smith, musicians associated with bands like Caul, Trust Obey and Tertium Non Data. The music is diverse, encompassing a spectrum of styles, which makes it difficult to categorize. Elements of classical, rock, pop and torch co-exist with ambient, electronic and industrial contours.

A mistress of many voices and an innovative arranger, Jarboe applies a range of deliveries, from the delicately brooding through the ethereal to the robust and raucous. Her striking vocals operate at full capacity on the uptempo ‘Black Pulse Grain,’ as multiple voices sing and narrate a mystical tale against a captivating rhythmic texture of drums and percussion.

Her bluesy torch comes to the fore on songs like ‘Inner Alien’ and ‘Smother’ whilst choirs, chants and solo voices interweave to magical effect on the masterful piece ‘And I Call Myself Hag.’ A variety of harsher expressions, including maniacal laughter, surface on tracks like ‘Surrender for his Heart’, ‘The Burn’ and ‘The Conversion (Relapse & Cruel)’ in association with electric guitars, drones, reverb, clanging beats and industrial noise.

Lovely melodies combine with buoyant beats on the entrancing tracks ‘Risen’ and ‘Risen Bloodless Mix’ for plenty of pop appeal. Another beauty deserving of special mention is the instrumental ‘In A World Of Her Own,’ where keyboards and effects conjure a sublime atmosphere.

Despite its multiple forms of expression, Blackmouth retains a strong sense of cohesion. Integrating such modal and stylistic variety is quite an achievement in itself, while the quality of the compositions assures the album a place of honour among the pioneering works of the 1990s. – Pieter Uys

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REVIEW BY DJ ABSTRACT :

“The whole is more than the sum of its parts”. This expression has been applied to many a musical collaboration, more often than not to denote the relative lack of talent of the individual members. It is only through the collaboration that this lack of talent is overcome, the strengths of one member complimenting the weaknesses of the other and vice versa. There are, however, rare instances when the whole is a reflection of the brilliance of all those involved. Blackmouth is one such instance.

This self-titled album was recorded between 1999 and 2000 and is the collaborative effort of producer John Bergin and guitarist Brett Smith (members of the dark sound explorers, Trust Obey) and Jarboe (famous for her work with Swans as well as her own challenging solo releases). The 14 tracks within are soaked in emotion, each a finely crafted gem that freezes a feeling in time and presents it to the listener to examine. And yet a constant flow and mood is maintained, all the while exploring different, sometimes seemingly discordant, musical genres; from black ambient (“The Conversion – Silent”) to down tempo (the title track), through spoken word vocals (“Surrender To His Heart”) to near-metal guitar pieces (“Seduce And Story”). Each track strikes a delicate balance between Jarboe’s stunning vocal talents and Bergin/Smith’s haunting instrumentals.

The album opens with the first of three versions of “The Conversion”. This “Silent” mix floats into being on a wave of horn-like synths that swirl in the distance until Jarboe’s echoing voice bubbles up from the depths. There is a palpable confusion and longing in her words, as she questions a lost lover, “I’ve been trying to find a reason & you know what? I don’t think there is a reason – or an answer to it… It’s just all of this, well… weren’t we meant to be it? I can’t deny it… Can you deny it? What you want, what I need… & then just… you know the rest…” Then she disappears again into darkness, leaving that sense of ache hanging above a black sea of regret.

The title track is a loose, growling instrumental mix of slow percussion and bass rumbles. Here Bergin and Smith display their considerable talents, crafting a lurching, yet somehow funky soundpiece. At an even 2:00 minutes, this is the shortest track on the album, although Bergin and Smith’s other instrumental, “In A World Of Her Own”, is a mere 16 seconds longer.

Other CD highlights include “Black Pulse Grain”, wherein Jarboe displays her considerable vocal range, from a tiny child’s voice down to a guttural growl. The song itself is a chilling piece, populated with heavy bass thuds, thick percussion, and squelched woodwinds that curl around the vocal track like a strangling vine.

“And I Call Myself Hag” is composed completely of various overdubs of Jarboe, creating a vaporous, disturbing sound canvas replete with visions of MacBeth’s sinister Three Weird Sisters.

Perhaps the most unsubtle, powerful piece is “Seduce And Destroy”, which begins with an upright bass providing the background as Jarboe croons, “You say contentment is… boring. And life is just so dull. A girl needs strife to have a good life. Well, you know what I say… F*CK OFF, BABY!” Then an explosion of a cavernous bass drops and crunching guitars from Bergin and Smith, while Jarboe’s vocal is electronically stretched and twisted, becoming a stunningly vicious bellow guaranteed to raise adrenaline levels. This on-again off-again pace is maintained throughout the piece, entrancing the listener one moment and then pummeling them the next.

This entire album is a testament to the talents of the three artists involved. Each member has a keen sense of how to meld their respective skills into a cohesive vision. The result is ominously dark and thought provoking.

  • DJ abstract