Review Summary: Russian winter in a snow globe.
There’s something about counterfeits attempting to mimic and preserve the authentic that I find moderately morbid in an oddly charming way. It's a more direct association when taxidermy pets or post-mortem portraits are concerned, yet this curiosity isn’t limited to the morose and moribund. Identifying that same feeling in the plastic textures of Child of Cold
goes some way towards explaining why it captivates me so. Through a carefully woven mix of das Unheimliche topped with a generous helping of sentiment, Cain constructs a bright and frosty landscape that's near indistinguishable from the real deal at a perfunctory glance. It all makes for a cheery sight, until suddenly you wander too far and meet a painted backdrop head on, and the whirring of a snow machine comes sharply into focus while a cardboard cut-out igloo sways precariously at the touch. Rattling sleigh bells recall christmas themes, whistling wind samples dance through tundras built from cheap percussion, and lo-fi melodies serve as index fingers, firmly stretching the corners of this façade’s mouth into a forced grin. I mention all this not to undersell the experience, only to frame my love for it. When I think about the albums that stick with me, its not melodies or techniques that I recall. I remember where they take me. Child of Cold
holds a special place because it exposes this ordinarily seamless fabrication; it's a reconstructed winter wonderland stitched together from synthesised instrumental emulations. This isn’t a Hollywood movie scene, rather it's a clandestine stage play, one where I'm both participant and audience member. There’s little else to impart about this demo, and if someone tunes in merely to discover a bunch of dated midi effects compiled by an amateur I'd concede that it’s a perfectly valid assessment. However, buried deep within its melancholic elation, past the props and curtains, lies the potential for so much more.