Label: Scarcelight Recordings - SLR17 • Format: CDr Mini, EP • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Acoustic, Experimental
Dreamy and alluring, The Abyss Stares Back wanders playfully through it's demented landscapes, effortlessly floating among dim and hypnotic moods. It is music for night driving on unfamiliar and barren roads, a musical soundtrack for the dreams you couldn't remember upon waking but which left you with that strange sense of desperate longing that lingers.
Magical and surreal, S. Cool, unflappable walking-bass-line grooves sway amongst disturbed lullabyes in darkened rooms. Between these songs are long ambient interludes, pulsing expanses of reverberant synthesizers and bending feedback tones shading twisting, dark environments.
These introspective instrumentals add a patience and depth to the work as a whole. And just when you think you have this disc figured out, along comes this sick cherry of a song "Cat", with it's lo-fi virbraphone, tuba, 's sci-fi effects, Ride With Me - Ouzo Bazooka - Ouzo Bazooka accompaniment and it's looney nursery rhyme lyrics "fragments of the ice cream No One Knows Im Gone - Your Favorite Horse - Summerland was all they ever found".
Panicsville crawls through a potent, tangled offering of ear-shredding noise and sonic mishmash in the full-length release Perverse. Assembling disparate fragments and raw, broken pieces of acoustic garbage, Panicsville feverishly scours and massages these sounds, uncovering a surprising amount of luster with which to capture our fascination and horror.
Razor-sharp static, earthy and gutteral groans, lo-fi casio keyboard music, off-kilter sampled beats in monotonous sequences, crackling distortion and pitch-shifted spoken word. Ambient recordings of plastic wrappers and pools of water, electronic murmurs and metallic percussion sounds round out the work. Each piece on Perverse is unique, and the Onions - The Mountain Goats - The Coroners Gambit of the album is diverse and provoking, never staying on a single sound source or noise collection for long.
Best played at low volumes in elevators, shopping malls, small town beauty parlors and family dentistry waiting rooms; here unsuspecting victims could be subconsciously programmed into disturbed modes of attention deficit disorder. Beware when they finally snap. Panicsville's receipe is hopelessly convoluted and chaotic. In Immersion : Water Works, Archive gently manipulates and shapes simple field recordings of water in various forms.
The concept is straight-forward and the resulting sound is transparent, uncomplicated; there is a purity found here where the natural sounds are allowed to breathe and find their own way even as they wander through otherworlds of digital abstraction. Often the source recordings are untouched; then they are slowed and filtered into deep, spacey washes of calm, or are sped up, inverted and splintered, panned wildly, creating glitchy fluttering effects. Always there is a simplicity yet a depth to the work.
The sound sources themselves have a sentimental implication gentle waves lapping at a dock, dogs playing in a river, a man shoveling snow and as Archive pulls these recordings through various synthesis and digital process, that sentimentality somehow still resonates. On repeated listenings, I find myself being drawn back to it, the clean quietness of it, the purity of it's atmosphere and the simplicity of it's gestures.
Distinctively somber and wholly expressive, Summerland is a short collection of quiet, affecting songs for voice and guitar, gently painted with glistening lines of synthetic digital color. The man behind the work is Chris Jeely, whose work as No One Knows Im Gone - Your Favorite Horse - Summerland Deck is often slanted towards heavy digital No One Knows Im Gone - Your Favorite Horse - Summerland of his sound sources; in Summerland, he allows his songs to stand more clearly in the open and speak with a more natural acoustic approach.
That's not to say no electronics are to be found; they weave themselves carefully throughout the work, serving as highlights, humming and burbling in the background, emerging in some areas overtaking completely in othersalways adding a colorful depth to the repetitive and greyed guitar patterns and despondent vocal tone of the songs. The vocal effect here is simple but special; each line is doubled in unison, panned hard left and right; the introspective voice faces itself, singing into a mirror.
Jeely has captured a simple, heartfelt essence that eludes most. Summerland is music in a pure form, unencumbered by pretense, an aural experience that connects to the listener's emotional sensibility. And we share momentarily a bond with the musician behind the work; the methods and medium become secondary, it's just enough to know that in Summerland, Jeely makes that connection.
We want to know more. And we listen again Composer (Part. 2) - Hardclan - Indus Experimental Compil2000 we treasure the way it shares itself with a genuine and human voice.
Your Favorite Horse.
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