Stunning, stunning, stunning.
There is nothing comparable to Francesca Belmonte’s voice – it is unique as is the soundtrack. Maybe it was Francesca’s timeless sensuous voice that first drew the gods to us all those millennia ago. That excited them to inspire our creation. That held us in thrall in the prediluvian epoch, was present and witnessed the destruction of Tiamat and the resultant deluge.
Maybe there are echoes of her voice in the ancient monuments, quartzite and hypnotic in equal proportion. Maybe the echo of her voice has been captured in the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid; maybe it is that that resonates.
Waterfalls of aural erotica drench me NOW, embrace and suffocate the labyrinthine paths of the senses, and journeys to other worlds have seldom been more pleasurable. And I am in another world; another one of those Carollian rabbit holes that open up under you in London’s gloriously filthy streets has sucked me in – I am bio-ported.
The air is thick with lust, there is no space here for frigidity. And even as Alain de Botton once suggested, no room for impassable prose either, probably.
I am caught off-guard tonight in the way that a beautiful woman may suddenly spring a kiss out of the intimate darkness and place it gently on my lips. I am about seductive galaxial swells and delightful spontaneity and it would seem that Francesca may be similarly ported. You see, it’s all about the intimacy, the sex tonight: even the condensation on my beer bottle appears aroused, the dew on the walls tantalised.
A sentence for the un-illumined: Francesca and Tricky have worked together for some time now. This is probably the most important collaboration since mum and dad, gin and tonic, Batman and Robin, black and white, yin and yang or fish and chips. This is Francesca’s debut album release party with treatments that hint at David Lynch, such is the sensuous smoky allure of the setting.
The opening refrain and deliciously sensual symphony of ‘Hiding in the Rushes’ makes one wonder why Franky and Adrian were not approached by the Nolans to soundtrack The Dark Knight. It’s Bruce and Rachel making out, in public, with the Joker holding the camera. Sensuously-lit climaxes in Imax. There’s also a Bond Theme going on here, and the scene? A time-capsule, of course. (This is an album launch party after all and there is every likelihood that should Anima be launched into the wider cosmos that any sentient being coming upon it may demand that more be sent – and the gods went back to making out).
‘Lying on the Moon’ opens with what immediately feels like a report from an AK47 but quickly becomes phasers on skipping. You actually do feel as if you could play hopscotch between the beats. It is sparse and suggests a couple on a lunar rover seeking out oxygen tanks to alleviate the post coital asphyxia, and, sung so alluringly, then morphs into a lullaby with wings, a firefly, and becomes Julee Cruse. Francesca appears to be floating near the ceiling – meet me up here, I want to hold hands with you.
The moon is apparently moving away from us by four centimetres every year, Francesca Belmonte may just have thrown a lasso around it and dragged it back towards us a fraction; her velveteen tones enticing its gradual return. Her Anima performance has aroused something primitive; a language that needs no translator.
When you are sated playing Mozart to the unborn child your next choice is this, oh yes. ‘It ain’t me Babe’ sounds like fan mail sent to Caligula (not that he really needed much encouragement) and yet at the same time lyrically suggests ‘not tonight babe’. That it can arouse and yet coquettishly un-requite and tease in equal measure is a remarkable achievement. This though is still a mosaic of sound that depicts a Roman orgy.
Corpuscles and plasma career around my inner interstate – a blur of rush hour trafficking – seeking each other out for erotic clandestine liaison. It’s dark in there and dimly lit. ‘Stole’ billows gigantic pillows that caress and nurture remembrances of sex talk. (Bernie Spindel! Max! Release the tapes!). Francesca’s Anima purrs. It’s smoking under the duvet. It trysts and turns in ecstatic unity: it is naked. Ambrosaic feasts and beats of lust entwined with vulnerability and an awakening of dormant senses.
And just by way of a teaser reference from past work I ask: does it make you feel good? You bet your tender tushs it does. It is only June but this may just be the best thing I see or hear all the rest of the year. If this is the last voice I hear before crossing back over then that is a journey I shall look forward to.
Boho skeleton and full time professional clownfish who understands the fine line between nuance and nuisance. After a lifetime of playing guitar and writing, he ought to.