Golden The Ship Was – Oh! Oh! Oh!

Golden Diskó Ship
Invisible Bonfire

Eight bejewelled and glittering creations from art-pop astral traveller Theresa Stroetges, piloting the Golden Diskó Ship through ineffable realms since 2007. This is her second solo album, in which she gives full and free expression to her multi-instrumental talents. In fact, you may be surprised that there are only eight tracks, because it sounds as if there are dozens of them.

Opening track “These Thoughts Will Never Take Shape” establishes the MO, a stark industrial beat ushering in a frayed and fuzzed dream-chorus, which in turn gives way to a wash of ambient electronica, out of which comes a crisp minor-chord guitar figure that connects back to those voices and more insistent electronic beats, which sets everything up for a new wave guitar riff finale (the guitar riffs on this album are a particular highlight). Remember, this is just the first track.

After that, Stroetges leads the listener through a fractal labyrinth of cosmic rock, psychedelic pop, ambient electronica, techno beats, ghostly noises off and cryptic lyrical mantras. Although the interstellar overdrive is firmly engaged, she has an earthier, more pastoral side to her as well, with a definite folk influence in the mix. She even finds time to acknowledge her background as a classically trained viola player.

This maximalist approach to composition can, of course, lead to a hideous mess, but rest assured, you’re in safe hands here. Stroetges knows how to make it all sound coherent, reincorporating and transforming ideas as she goes along, to give the songs structure and purpose. It’s like looking at the same thing from different angles, to reveal new details.

Like the Golden Ship in the Cordwainer Smith short story I pinched this review title from, Invisible Bonfire sounds as if it’s 90 million miles long and made out of foam and wire – vast, awe-inspiring and beautifully fragile all at the same time.