Creative alchemy doesn’t just happen in the studio or in the practice space; so much of it is the product of solo time with one’s instrument, learning how body and wood and electronics fuse, and of subconscious processes as one lives one’s daily life—picking up the ambient noise of the world outside, listening to others’ work, talking through ideas with friends.  For  Kim  Gordon  and  Bill  Nace,  time  together  these  days  is  limited  to  live performances and recording, so they’ve gotto bring all their magic to every encounter. Lucky for us, these are two experimental sorcerers of significant renown.

Their debut album together as Body/Head, Coming Apart, from 2013, was more of a rock record—heavy, emotional, cathartic, spellwork in shades of black and grey. The Switchis their second studio full-length, and it finds the duo working with a more subtle palette, refining their ideas and identity. Some of it was sketched out live (if you’ve not had the fortune  of  seeing  them  in  that  natural  environment  yet,  see  2016’s improvisational document No  Waves),  but  much  of  it  happened  purely  in  the  moment.  Working  in  the same studio and with the same producer as Coming Apart, here Body/Head stretch out, making  spacious  pieces  that  build  shivering  drones,  dissonant  interplay,  Gordon’s manipulated  vocals,  and  scraping,  haunting  textures  into  something  that  feels  both delicate  and  dangerous.  Less  discrete  songs  than  one  composition  broken  up  into thematic movements, a slow-moving narrative that requires as much attention and care from the listener as it did from everyone involved in its creation, it is a record that sticks around after it’s done playing.