Encased in Sound: Twice a Man’s Cocoon

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Like Wire, Twice a Man never make the same album more than once. Their sound might have consistent elements, but each release is an exploration of new combinations and treatments for them.

Like a stone exposed to the weather, time has changed Twice a Man, but their impermanence has been with us for a long time. Cocoon, their current album, has at least twenty predecessors, including some mighty classics of electronic and experimental music.

To keep things simple, every track is numbered: “Cocoon 1,” “Cocoon 2,” and so on. Each has its own distinctive features. “Cocoon 7” is distinguished by an energising combination of rhythms and Dan Söderquist’s vocals. “Cocoon 8” has psychedelic strings layered over a chugging, modulated pattern.

The overall effect is a sonic combination of nature and creation. “Cocoon 1” seems to invoke both the humming of bees and the sound of their industry. Hives aren’t places for solitary contemplation, and the work of different teams drowns out any individual sounds. The environment has its own rhythms, and the ebb and flow of activity changes the sounds.

Cocoon is an unconventional album from one of Sweden’s most unconventional bands. It makes for inspiring listening.

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