Big Toe: Direct Sales

Direct Sales is the third installment in Bathysphere's planned series of nine 7-inch singles, with each release encased in a hand-printed cardboard sleeve that's got collector's appeal written all over it. Judging by the disc's two songs, Big Toe, comprised of James Tarling, Chris Cousin (Sofalofa, Chin Chin), and Theresa Connelly (Chin Chin), specialize in a somewhat macabre electronic-folk style. Shuddering effects and scarred guitar noises imbue “Direct Sales” with an ominous undertow that's thankfully brightened by Connelly's hushed vocalizing. Side B's “Cycling Shoes” is largely free of such doom-laden ambiance yet still exudes an aura of mystery; most strangely, one feels the ghostly presence of Syd Barrett (circa The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) lurking in the song's background.

December 2006