review

Textura

Does Your Cat Know My Dog? collects ten previously unreleased or rare tracks by acts—well-known (Sonic Youth, Bonnie ‘Prince' Billy, Sunn O))), Carla Bozulich) and lesser-known—who have played at Bad Bonn, a small restaurant located a short distance from Düdingen and Lake Schiffenen, which sits on the natural border between French- and German-speaking Switzerland. The twelve-inch release is the second volume in a compilation series Three:four Records created in order that kindred spirits of the label, be they individuals or establishments, could be granted the opportunity to curate a recording. In the case of Does Your Cat Know My Dog, Three:four asked the open-minded folks at Bad Bonn to do the honours, and the resultant collection reflects the range of musics heard at the venue, with folk, electronic experiments, and indie rock all on hand.
The first side's opening pieces are vocal songs of largely acoustic design that are easy on the ears. Bonnie ‘Prince' Billy's melancholy "Love Comes To Me" inaugurates the album on a relaxed and informal note, followed by Your Fault's gloomy vocal-and-piano setting "I'm Washing Your Feet..." and Pierre Omer's home-recorded ballad "Lullaby." After Joe Galen's instrumental "Gold Smatter" juxtaposes jagged electronic rhythm elements and acoustic musical textures, things turn less polite at side's end during "Elements Ascending," an edited improv of scalding white heat by Carla Bozulich and Ches Smith that's excerpted from an unreleased duo album of piano, drums, vocals, and sound manipulations. One could regard their piece as a stage-setter for the heavier material on side B: Sunn O))) contributes a meaty slab of guitar sludge ("Isengard (Chopped & Screwed)") recorded at The Regent Theatre in Los Angeles; Sum Of R uses turntable, harmonium, bass guitar, cello, and electronics to birth a wrist-slitting soundtrack ("Not Every Chamber Has A Door"); and Bulbul + Boris Hauf provide a brief meltdown of saxophone wail, drums, and guitar skronk ("[ab]end"). Two vocal tracks conclude the album, the first an indie-rock dirge by combineharvester ("Shallow Is Just Enough") and the second a muscular raver Sonic Youth recorded in 2009 at the annual Bad Bonn Kilbi Festival in Düdingen ("No Way (power cut version)").