Couch - Profane (2001)
This album was added to my library in early 2015. ‘Was added’ is passive, and the passive voice is a tool to hedge and avoid responsibility,1 which is why I usually avoid it. But in this case, I actually don’t remember adding it. Of course, I don’t remember adding hundreds of other albums that sit, waiting, unlistened-to, in my iTunes library.
Profane is an instrumental album. I can’t quote you any favorite lyrics. I can try words like ‘dreamlike’ and ‘post-modern’, but that could mean anything. The band doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, and “couchmusik.de” goes to what I assume is a German domain registrar’s page. So how can I describe this to you?
A quieter and more consistent God is an Astronaut, and a faster Bonobo. A simpler Maybeshewill and an abbreviated and more disciplined Mogwai. Describing an artist’s work in terms of other artists is a last resort for me, but describing music is hard, and I’m not that good of a writer yet.
Profane is dramatic and progressive, it has anxiety which becomes cacophony; not the annoying kind, the beautiful cathartic kind.
Listen to “Doch endlich”, you’ll know what I mean.
Unfortunately this album is not on Bandcamp, and I don’t see the CD being sold anywhere obvious, but it is sold in the Apple Music Store, and you should listen to it.
A Matador Records page written around the time Profane was released, via the wayback machine
Our friend Richard Martin at the Seattle Weekly says of ‘Profane’: “guitarist Juergen Soder, keyboardist Stefanie Bohm and their mates succeed again, sping complex rhythms and hidden melodies, straying into fascinating jams.” The equally observant Michael Endelman of the Boston Phoenix says, “Couch arrive at a state of suspended animation, somewhere between Sonic Youth’s ‘Daydream Nation’ and Tortoise’s 20 minute epic ‘Djed.’”
I like how I described it better.
This is especially true in scientific writing. All papers are written in a passive voice. We didn’t tell the participants in the study to do something, “participants were told”. We didn’t run the regression analysis, “a regression analysis revealed a significant effect of years of education”. I digress. ↩︎