Wednesday, July 22, 2009


From The Ear-Conditioned Nightmare

Here's a disc I got a ways back but never got around to for whatever reason (i.e. general chaos) but that surely deserves some words. Sent to me by the group, this one is another fine example of the Bloodlust! imprint doing what they do best: long and languid affairs that tend toward the doom and gloom but always offer more in the way of general depth. Think Locrian, Prurient, Bloodyminded, etc. Well this one's no different, if even a bit more toward the light end of the spectrum, offering a nice sparkling drone work that's as well constructed as it is immersive.

"Double Gyres" opens the disc on a shimmering note, offering some real cross-current glides with some heavy electronic atmospherics thrown in for good measure. Every line is treated with real care here, always moving if ultimately stagnent. Rather than just laying all the cards down and letting them get oggled though, the duo really constructs some fine and careful stuff. Steve Fors and Chris Miller really dabble on the edges of so many mediums with this piece alone, gliding along on a chasm, the darkness below and the sun above, and a hilltop meadow right beside.

The whole disc is this good though, as the unit uses cheapo keyboards, synths, guitar (even lap steel), etc to create a sound that draws on hi and low fidelity. The Casio burnout opening "The Awful Rowing Toward God" turns into a total scorcher before charring itself out while "Klonopin" looms along some electric wire ariel currents. "We'll Wield Fire," another scorcher, sits on the crackling drones of cheapo keyboards while ultra crisp stutterings pulse ahead--the mix, recorded as well as it is here, really works to fill out the entire sound, allowing it to avoid the trappings of both aesthetics while pulling on each strength. This one really cooks too, occupying some Indiana Jones trudge ahead, grind your teeth and deal heroism. Following that with "Ondine" makes sense too, as it expands way out in a real lofty, halo fuzz that serves as a nice come down before the closing "A Vision" fades in only to scrape itself down some flood pipe with electric razors as handles. Beautiful, but a hell of a way to go out. Just sharp all around, real top notch stuff, and it looks to have been produced in some real numbers. Killer. And how bout that entangled sheep adorning the cover?

- Henry Smith