Experimental noise and DIY art-pop pairing tAngerinecAt have always been a challenging yet arresting act, who have developed a cult following over the past seven years thanks to the release of albums H.R V.I.P and Many Kettles which fuse Eastern European folk and traditional instrumentation with austere electronica. Now, non-binary artists Eugene Purpurovsky and Paul Chilton release new single Something Broke Inside, a haunting yet invigorating insight into the real-life suffering that would force an immigrant to flee into exile.
Drawing on their own experiences, Something Broke Inside joins a jagged soundscape with a personal narrative; both describing Purpurovsky’s acute pain of being forced to leave the Ukraine from homophobic prejudice and his radical actions as a feminist activist, anti-fascist and anti-capitalist, to then migrate to the U.K. Both lyrics and music channel the childhood abuse that pushed him past breaking point and resulting trauma which remains long after.
Purpurovsky’s powerful voice bellows out witchy incantations, summoning up the ghosts of the past, before a pneumatic drum machine bursts into life, chattering like a typewriter annotating the agony whilst the hurdy-gurdy and Ukrainian bag pipes give drone-dance a folky twist.
Warped and twisted like the mutated bodies painter Francis Bacon used to depict human suffering, the sense of immediate fear is palpable throughout the song, but with a rich and earthy feel that is so grounded, you can feel the soil underneath your fingernails after listening.
Speaking to Indie Is Not A Genre, Purpurovsky explained the complex psychological conditions that inform the intensity of the track;
As someone with Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and dissociation, my personality has several parts – one of them contains a narrative about traumatic events, the other one remembers only the emotions associated with this narrative. So, I have amnesia, but I still have all these emotions manifested as pain in my body, and my story reminds me of itself through images and symbols that often come to me in dreams. When I express this in art, the pain decreases, and the more I talk about it, sing about it, play about it, dance about it on stage, the more people listen and hear me, the more I find a connection with myself, remember my history, find a way out and heal.
Punctuated with sounds of broken glass, there’s definitely a nod to the art provocateur tactics of Throbbing Gristle, but Something Broke Inside has much greater emotional resonance than those noise terrorists, owing to the very personal experiences being played out, and still retains the integrity a “song”, rather than testing the listener by pushing them to sonic extremes.
Something Broke Inside will feature on the next tAngerinecAt LP which will be titled Glass and is expected to be released later this year.