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DIGIV030: Chubby Wolf “Turkey Decoy” LP

October 6, 2011

DIGIV030: Chubby Wolf “Turkey Decoy” LP/digital

Chubby Wolf was the moniker used by the late Dani Baquet-Long of Celer for her subdued world of sound. With the help of Dani’s husband and Celer’s other half, Will Long, the final Chubby Wolf recordings are finally seeing the light of day and the world is a better place because of it. Turkey Decoy represents some of her most accessible work.

As the album opens with “Cantankerous Baby,” you immediately drift away on cybernetic clouds. Soothing as it may seem, this song is transportive. It’s like endlessly floating though an unknown haze built around processed vocals and sample-ridden electric guitar. As you continue dreaming through the morose romanticism of pieces like “Short Dick” and “Prescient Inspiration,” there’s an understated carnality that weaves its way into this music. “If There’s An Elephant in the Room” pulls back the curtain and reveals a breathless aftermath punctuated by distant piano chords and sprawling drones. Each swell of Baquet-Long’s voice makes you want to avert your eyes, unsure if this is something you’re supposed to see.

Turkey Decoy evolves delicately. Each layer is an article of clothing, slowly removed until there’s nothing left to hide. This is Dani Baquet-Long at her most visceral. Every quirk and imperfection is on display as if there wasn’t any other way to exist. It’s intense.

Closing out the album, “Scalloped Toes” and “Intrusively Coexisting” wrap things up with an elegant sweetness as everything comes full circle. The former is swimming in warm, relaxing tones that bleed into the barking and howling of Dani’s beloved wolves that begin the last song on the album. “Intrusively Coexisting” is vaguely gloomy and leaves lingering questions about all that came before. It’s the right way to end such a raw album because the only thing left to do is go back to the beginning and try to figure it out all over again.

Art by Dani Baquet-Long. Cut & mastered at D+M Berlin. Initial copies on clear vinyl.

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