Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June Tapes

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...or hit me up at the ((Cave))

Bre’r- OLSB Music No. 1

A chance meeting with D.A. Fisher on the streets of Oakland, California led to an exchange of tapes and our first exposure to the brilliance of his Bre’r project.  The tape was the sprawling masterpiece, “Dhome Herder” (Baro Records), which immediately prompted discussions about the possibility of a future ((Cave)) release.  Needless to say when we received this tape we were beyond excited.

OLSB Music #1 represents a refinement of the Bre’r vision.  While a bit more concise, these tracks still take their time, slowly enveloping a wealth of sonic activity just beneath the surface, evoking a solitary walker of urban streets, out of step with the surrounding pace on the concrete, yet abiding with it, witnessing the frenetic activity in soft focus.

-C-30, edition of 100
-Home dubbed on Type II Cobalt 
-Art by D.A. Fisher
Reviews of OLSB Music #1:
Multi dimensional space worship on ((Cave)), with OLSB Music No. 1, from Bre’r. A release so quintessentially ambient, it nearly defines the genre. Elegant melodic structures, with just a bit of something unexpected and unorthodox living in the periphery. Vast overwhelming astral tones, colored with metallic hues. Tracks like Remix Of No Vision, while feeling cold and distant, still beg an emotional response. These aren’t the slow evolving drones commonly invading the ambient realm, but rather mid tempo symphonic movements. Not so much a challenge, as an extraterrestrial voyage into the subconscious. This is without question in my musical sweet spot and required consecutive listens. 

Titled like a prescription drug, ‘OLSB Music No.1’ is my first encounter with Bre’r (Darren Fisher), an Oakland musician of Anticon association who produces therapeutic, Kranky-style drones.  Affecting even the same font on offset of the most recent Tim Hecker release, and beyond the Stars of the Lid title, Fisher captures well the overcast and glassy swell of early Growing, pairing long tones and brilliant flutter.  Deep, E-bowed buzz rattles tintinabular clatter like wind chimes on the bluster, halted only briefly by the pure tonality of “Big Fashion”, itself a vortex leading out of the soundtrack work Kranky responds to, and into the modern synthesizer work liquidating such houses of drone.   With impressionistic half-thoughts for titles (“Old Marriage”, “Fitness Beacon”, “Same Choir”), and enough variation and development in each track to make this C30 an album rather than formal “pieces”, he’s really gotten a pitch-perfect account of that fading, peaceable kingdom.  Labeled tapes come in glossy j-card, 100 copies.  Recommended.
-Animal Psi
Evan Lindorff-Ellery/Chapels- Split

Evan Lindorff-Ellery (Dense Reduction, Notice Recordings) and Adam Richards (Chapels, House of Alchemy) are two major figures in experimental music.  Their eclectic, yet impeccable labels display their open ears and subtle understanding of sound.  Likewise, their respective music projects have incredible depth and range.

Evan’s piece, while a departure from the field recordings presented on past recordings, is no less intriguing as it takes on the domestic landscape of an apartment and the activity within.  Evan is a master at collecting and assembling novel textures and timbres: objects can be heard quivering to life as a hive of activity builds and thickens to an almost overwhelming climax.

Chapel's side blends together home and live recordings into a dark, reverberating collage.   Wolves howl as mysterious movements echo in a space that is at once a  forest teeming with nocturnal rustling, and an abandoned building occupied by participants of some strange rite.

-C-64, edition of 100
-Pro-dubbed on Type II Cobalt 
-Art by Rob

Rob of ((Cave)) recordings brings together two fellow home label endeavorers by inviting a split between House of Alchemy’s Adam Richards (aka Chapels) and Notice Recordings’ Evan Lindorff-Ellery.  It’s been some time since we last saw Chapels despite Richards’ consistent output through the last year, and even accounting for this oversight, “We Are the Sum Total of our Data” feels like an all-new incarnation of the Chapels project: a multi-part program of mostly unaffected field-recordings, Richards swings an organic dark ambience through authentic setting and lo-fi capture which induces the natural drone in the energy fields he presents; the gothic abstractions of his earlier work have aged into a less figurative, more cynical, more brutal realism full with everyday, gut feelings of worry and dread – wandering, threatening, alienating.  Lindorff-Ellery, in his time away from Dense Reduction, comes with the solo mix “The Apartment Piece”: unlike Richards’ singular scenes, this side offers immediate layers of accumulation – clattering adjustments, unwanted details, fade-ups; droning hum, ticking contrast, whips of ostinato feedback – in other words, causes and effects.  The sounds suggest so much activity, but exclude any clear image of that activity.  Less contrast than comparison, the two sides of the split tie-together the bitter vacancy of a world carrying on with you.  Cassettes come in heavy inserts, art by Lindorff-Ellery.
-Animal Psi

The Ether Staircase- III

The saga continues on our third full-length tape which pulls together recordings made last winter and presents some odd gems.  Side A is a dust devil, swirling together thrift store tapes while several keyboards of unknown origin struggle to navigate the murk.  Side B is a slow burning epic that Ben thinks sounds like a primeval forest, while I would put the whole thing at the bottom of the ocean.
-C-32, edition of 50
-Home dubbed on ferrite cassettes 
-Art by Ben and Rob

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