Foie Gras : Innermost Shrine Heavily Gilded

fg2015 : Not Just Religious Music
Format : Cassette

Foie Gras is the recording moniker of Iphigenia Gras. This talented lady seems to have her hands in many a pie. As well as holding her own as a musician, she’s done some pretty incredible modeling work. She’s also a graphic designer, creating killer flyers for bands too numerous to mention, as well as creating clothing designs for Actual Pain. Which coincidentally, is the clothing store owned and operated by TJ Cowgill (aka King Dude), and who also owns and operates NJRM.

But I’m here for the music, and the music’s all I hear. It’s nearly impossible to pigeonhole this tape into one particular genre. It flows like a river, pulling various styles along the way, yet still remaining cohesive. This is one of those tapes meant to be listened to in it’s entirety. Side A is infinitely melancholic and sad. Her moody, guitar-based drone creates an ambient collage of abstract mental images, it’s an Angelo Badalamenti soundtrack to the film David Lynch never made. “Carcass” is my favorite track on this side. Although filtered almost unrecognizably, it still features Iphigenia’s lovely voice.

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Photo by Muted Fawn, Wardrobe by Aoi Kotsuhiroi

Kicking off with the even more beautiful acoustic version of “Carcass”, things definitely take a darker turn on the B side. The misleadingly named “Peaches” is absolutely Black Metal in its execution. And “Trench Ritual”, “Eat” and “Sodom” are all terrifying pieces of Dark Ambient. The tape ends with “13 Rough Boys” and “Critter”, both of which are more acoustic, with the latter immediately drawing comparisons to the Chelsea Wolfe / Marissa Nadler school of “strong female singer/songwriters”. In my mind, Iphigenia is every bit as good, just criminally less well known. It’s the track I keep hitting rewind on.

I recently had the chance to see Iphigenia perform live in Dallas, opening up for King Dude on a US tour. Just herself and her guitar, she was captivating and engaging, drawing the audience in and entertaining us with her warped sense of humor as well as her music. If you get the chance to see her, don’t miss it.

As of this writing, the tapes are sold out from the label, but are still available through the label’s Bandcamp page. You can also track down the physical version if you look hard enough. It’s definitely worth the effort.

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