Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
When you've dealt with someone who's been pregnant a few times, you learn some things about what they're going through and what you might be able to do to help them. You learn that there's all kinds of awfulness at the beginning of the ordeal, then the situation straightens itself out just for a short period of time before it delves into horribly uncomfortable times. And you learn that - aside from administering what seem to be 24-hour back and foot massages as penance for that person carrying your child - you can do nothing to make them feel any better. Their mood and general well-being are determined by feel, queasy stomach or not, smells, temperatures, bloating, water retention and sometimes, mysterious swelling. It's almost entirely out of anyone's control. You curse the little monster in there, making everyone sick with crabbiness. You slip in between the egg shells and come to the conclusion that you can tip-toe around the spells of good stretches and those of bad, finding ways to make them feel longer. There's a touch to it and a settling of emotions and tides.
Daniel Trudeau, the man behind the mostly-electronic project that he calls Pregnant, has had to nurture someone like the person described above. There's no telling what they went through - how hard or easy those nine months were, or even if the name was in place only after that part of his life, but with the way that he makes his music, it's pretty obvious that Trudeau is fully in-tune with the feels of things, with the way they undulate and resonate. He's mindful of subtleties and he shows confidence in riding certain invisible faders, keeping things going, sustaining a working equilibrium when that's what the song calls for. He jumps onto sounds and loops and lets them play for appropriate durations, giving them enough string and a big enough field to let them think that they're running wild, but knowing absolutely that he's in charge of their destinies. He sits on vibes and then - at the most appropriate times - he swaps one out for the other and he progresses on to something new-ish, just not too new, but arresting all the same.
The 28 minutes of continuous music that he plays on this session is hypnotizing and yet still discernable as having some kind of a progression from a start, into a mid-section that hints at disruptions and telephone calls that you could swear are being made to you (like that phantom vibration system that you feel shivering down your leg a few times a day) and into an outro that sounds like we're being escorted through a peanut gallery filled with people rhythmically doing their yard work and whistling. They've found that the fresh air and the gardening keeps the overall feeling mellow enough. It's good for the belly.