Did some more mastering for Sarah June. I think the album is getting close to done.
Wrote a portion of Lost Kisses #12.
Finished up the one sheets for Vlor & Aarktica.
Getting ready to start up the second batch of follow-up mailings for Moodring & doing the store mailings for it as well. Probably take about ten hours. Time to start the grind on it.
I just realized how backed up my text file of recent reviews has gotten, so here you go. Thanks you all for your interest & support.
MOODRING: SCARED OF FERRET
This is an odd album…even by the admittedly strange standards set by the folks at North Carolina’s Silber label (!?). Trying to describe the songs on Scared of Ferret is a difficult task…so perhaps the best way of giving you an indication of what to expect can be gained from a line in the press release: “The music is so raw and infectious and immediate that it feels more proto-everything than post-anything.” That’s probably a very good way of summing things up. Moodring songs seem to incorporate ideas and elements from some of the more obtuse progressive British dinosaur bands from the 1970s…all the while delivering their music from a decidedly twenty-first century perspective. A word of warning. If you’re looking for accessible music, you won’t find it here. These tracks are peculiar, odd, unfamiliar, and experimental. The current band consists of Mae Starr, Monte Trent Allen, Jesse Stevens, and Michael Braun Hamilton. Strange intoxicating cuts include “Pole Cat Intro,” “#9,” “The Weasel,” and “Ricketts.” Perplexing music from a unique perspective. Recommended.
For pure guitar craft, there are few more interesting batches of character and experimentation than Remora. Haven’t heard of them? That’s not terribly surprising.
But it is quite a shame.
Remora has been one of Brian John Mitchell’s many masks since 1996 when the jolly costume party began (Mitchell is also an avid cartoonist and ‘zine publisher, as well as experimental/electro-label scion). The albums he produces under the name Remora (something characterized as “guitar terrorism” yet also, soothing) are stark expressions of tone, bursts of guitar and mechanized loops. The results are controlled mayhem. Previous albums have lavished an aesthetic that is poetically repetitive and minimalist (brilliantly drone on the loop driven, Ambient Tones For One Guitar and Amerse) and while it may seem absurd, they focus almost thematically. Mitchell says with his guitar and studio prowess what so many others fail to do armed with pen, paper and a vocal mike.
Forward to Remora’s newest effort, Derivative, eight tracks in all (relatively small number, considering Mitchell’s propensity for numerous, fractured tracks) with song titles all descriptive of time (“All Our Times Have Come”) place (“Highway Run”) or emotions (“Death Planes” or “Love Corrupt”). The album is filled from beginning to end with resplendent song craft, like “Every Prince” which shimmers and cascades, or “Misdirection” which muddles in the proverbial mire. The tracks on Derivative are all pulled from Mitchell’s favorite tracks, such familiar bands as Journey and Blue Oyster Cult, Pere Ubu and Warrior Soul. The results are mysterious and familiar pulling the listener in so many directions it’s a perfectly tiring exercise. Like wandering a museum at night, appreciating by feel what during the day seems painfully overt and forgettable.
~ Erick Mertz, Kevchino
Apparently there was a bidding war between three labels to release this CD by Woodring, which was won by Silber Records. A three piece of Mae Starr (vocals, keyboards, loop, kaos pad, effects), Monte Trent Allan (bass, effects, hand percussion) and Jesse Stevens (drums, flute), with the help of Micheal Braun Hamilton when recording this CD. ‘Proto everything rather than post anything’, the label says. I am not sure if I find that true. To me this music seems to be the result of long spaced out jams, high on anything, and see what was recorded afterwards. Psychedelic music with the capital P, if it had not been the opening word of this sentence. Very hip music, I’d say. Music that is very free, Smegma like (must be that Portland, Oregon air). Also very American music. Not bad, I think, but perhaps also not that much my cup of tea. But then inhaling the right substances is not what is done when writing reviews, so that might be a bit problematic when judging this music. I’ll see tonight.
Behind Lost Kisses is Brian John Mitchell, who is a zinester/cartoonist, who somehow had some sort of deal to get his cartoons on TV, but in the end it didn’t happen. I’m sure it would have been with a different soundtrack, as the music is pretty abstract, minimal, sine wave like and somehow don’t fit the ten stories. The drawings are very, very simply and tell a story. The simple drawings tell us something and beneath there is the overall narrator. Stories about a funny and sad life, and the stories are sad and funny. I wonder if I would want to watch this more than once though, but perhaps I’m not that kind of cartoon guy. The music however is pretty nice, played on guitar, ringing and buzzing in my ear. Not bad, a bit much to watch all at once.
Behind this Remora is one Brian John Mitchell (the same as before? Its not told), who has been inspired by Tom Verlaine, Roy Montgomery, David Pearce and Hayden. Apparently his last record was from 2005, which I didn’t hear, nor the ones before that. Mitchell uses the loop device and his guitar, and he feeds to the device, short hooks from his favorite songs, but the likes of Journey, Blue Oyster Cult, Pere Ubu, Hefner and Warrior Soul. I must admit I fail to hear these hooks, except for Joy Division’s ‘Wilderness’ but somehow I am glad. Or perhaps I wouldn’t need this information at all? This label is best known for ambient and drone music (see also elsewhere), and somehow it seems that the music of Mitchell only fits in there partially. With some good will one could call this ambient, but of a more ‘aggressive’ kind. The guitar comes in ‘loud’, piercing perhaps through the use of reverb. Like John Fahey going electric, or perhaps Michel Henritzi’s take on blues music. Slide like, ebow like, and endless solo. I thought about five songs were fine enough, still not great, but then boredom leaped in. A repetition of an idea gone too far. You know the drill after five pieces, and wish for something out of the ordinary to happen, but it doesn’t come. Turn off that reverb, would be one advise to start with. That would make a difference by itself. (FdW)
~ Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
Instrumental post-rock music that would likely be those who listen to Mogwai, Clione-Index, 8mmSky or Explosions in the Sky. These songs are reworkings of the likes of Joy Division, Warrior Soul and Pere Ubu. Not something I’d reach for but it’s not bad. The final song Love Corrupt strikes me as the strongest song with the audible loops in the background and and the guitar sounds taking foreground.
~ Small Takeover
Affection. Not every release elicits this rare blush or its companion emotion. So it’s even less frequent when the entire catalog from a particular label brings forth the feeling of joy and discovery.
Silber Records is that label for me and it has been for some time (I’ve even forgotten how I discovered them). Their collective aesthetic isn’t for everyone. It is subtle, often deliberately obscure, their releases without much fanfare beyond an organic groundswell. The Silber Records artists are largely local to North Carolina and purveyors of experimental, electro/anti-rock.
My favorite Silber incarnation is Remora (an imprint of the label’s leader, Brian John Mitchell). There are a half-dozen or more “records” under the name Remora (many of them availab
le on archive.org for free download). As a whole band, Remora is almost indescribable. There is a better chance at talking about each release as a distinct work of electronic/drone rock.
The newest release from Remora is called Derivative. It’s a studio marvel. A few weeks after first listening to it, there are still uncharted places the songs take me.
~ Semi-Urban Cartography
NORTHERN VALENTINE: THE DISTANCE BRINGS US CLOSER
The sprays of fuzz, feedback and (possibly imagined) overtones created by this husband and wife duo treads territory familiar to anyone reasonably familiar with shoegaze rock, especially the stuff that eschews drums completely. Distance marks the band’s fourth LP, with a few EPs and live recordings in-between. Earlier efforts, per the band’s MySpace page, have tribal elements. The lack of percussion here indicates a common evolutionary process for bands that produce this sort of trance-like material. “Born Yesterday” launches the listener gently down the stream-of-consciousness with a full 15 minutes of rippling static and drone. A short series of sci-fi pulses breaks up “Dimanche” just after the six-minute mark — but don’t let that jar you. This is ideal listening for a winter commute when it’s not rainy or dark enough for something more immediate.
Reference material: If Seefeel’s colder, cosmic crop-dusting experiments appeal to you, Northern Valentine will satisfy. And you should probably check out Louis and Bebe Barron’s way-ahead-its-time soundtrack to Forbidden Planet.
~ Kris Kendall, The Typing Monkey
This CD from 2008 offers 46 minutes of haunting atmospheric tuneage.
Northern Valentine is husband-and-wife Robert (on guitar) and Amy Brown (on violin and keyboards). They are joined by: Jeffrey Bumiller (from Doctor Science and Lunch with Beardo) on guitar, Marc Carazo on bass, and Ben Fleury-Steiner (from Light of Shipwreck and owner of Gears of Sand Records) on guitar.
Lavish waves of processed guitars cascade into expansive layers of sound, droney in nature and eerie in definition. Equally haunting violin only increases the music’s desolate character.
The guitar notes are sustained, then extended to impossible duration, actualizing lethargic pulsations of harmonic mien. These infinite structures hang in the air, immutable in their resolute melancholy, yet the guitars easily fuse with each other to produce an oscillating temperament.
Winding through the mix, the violin, softly morose in its dire resonance, injects a spectral flavor to the undulant harmonic flow.
These compositions exhibit an arctic sound that goes beyond chilly to express a spacious quality, evoking vast regions unsullied by civilization, frozen in a pure example of liberating nature. While the music is generally ambient, peaks are achieved and relinquished as the tuneage progresses on its steadfast course.
~ Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
Dark, atmospheric, instrumental ambient music with layered guitars and synths (and no percussion) from Philadelphia. The dark layered sound is reminiscent of Godspeed You Black Emperor without the epic climaxes; The composition is more like Eno’s ambient stuff, slow and steady atmospherics with repeating themes. Start with starred tracks.
1) 14 minutes – dark & atmospheric layered guitars & synths.
2) Repeating ambient synth theme that builds subtly to the end of the track
**3) 8 Minutes – Opens quiet and subtly builds into dark ambient soundscape.
4) Dark Menacing Sounds, looser composition than some of the other tracks.
5) Dark feedbacky guitar layered with ambient guitars/synths
~ Rafe McBride, Zookeeper Online
Five long, ambient, metallic drone soundscapes by this Philadelphia husband and wife duo with one of them clocking in at over 15 minutes. Fans of Seefeel, Silo, Rodelius and Brian Eno’s ambient work will find this a ripping spin.
~ The Big Takeover
Lead by a married couple from Philadelphia, Northern Valentine glides through definitive icy spells that are remarkably created by guitars and no post-production. Having already set a mood by placing a photo from Iceland on the album cover, Amy and Robert (along with two other guitarists and a bassist) easily evoke any kind of wintry, arctic imagery. These are also some of the most haunting ambient sounds put to tape, some of which play like the soundtrack for a crumbling and crashing ice sheet. Hailing from Philadelphia, Northern Valentine is a band built around the core of husband and wife duo Robert (guitar) & Amy Brown (violin, keyboard). Inviting two guitarists (Jeffery Bumiller and Ben Fleury-Steiner) and a bassist (Marc Carazo) into the fore, the band adds depth to their ambient post-rock sound which follows the same aesthetics as Windy&Carl, Netherworld and Biosphere.Like drifting in a bulbous cloud through a unpopulated, cotton-wool metropolis, Northern Valentine score the soundtrack to an imaginary Arctic dusk, an image which is perfectly conveyed by the album art. Across the 5 pieces, elongated string melodies glide and evaporate in spectral fashion as crisply effervescent tones occasionally glisten within the drone laden expanse. Themes of glacial isolation, depressive darkness and ominous paranoia fuse delicately with a delicate romanticism and the silver lining of optimism in a soundscape that floats between dense and minimalist textures.Opener ‘Born Yesterday’ is a cinemascope manifestation of ethereal post-ambient music. Like a lingering nature shot in a Haneke or Coen Brothers film that is riddled with a deep, emotive undertone, it grips ones mindset through its subtle use of omnipotent drones and deeply melancholic tone. The album then starts to slowly move into a regressive lull, especially on the solitary introspection of ‘Dimanche’ which churns subtly with a windswept forlornness. Sounding like The Caretaker meets The Necks played at 16rpm in the banquet hall of the submerged Titanic, the delicious sub-aqua, minimalist piano waltz of ‘Escaping Light’ adds a much anticipated glow to proceedings as glistening melodic droplets lace a backdrop of warmly buoyant drone. The closer ‘Already Gone’ is the most post-rockish of the 5 tracks as stretched violin and guitar melodies meander around each other in ghostly fashion, all-the-while exuding that reflective and melancholic timbre that poignant post-rock is all about as melodic arcs resonate with compassionate fervor over a timeless soundscape of drifting sonic spacedust.Recorded live using a stereo field recorder and without any post-production or overdubbing, the five-piece improvised off of each other around planned themes. Thusly, such a process has led to a natural and spacious soundstage that wrings with an all important warmth. With all the pieces melding into each other to form an engrossing 45 minute dreamscape, the emotive cinematic expanse of ‘The Distance Brings Us Closer’ will have you cloud surfing for many enjoyable hours to come.
~ Deleted Scenes, Forgotten Dreams
The Distance Brings Us Closer (a ver si es verdad), editado en Silber Records, es el cuarto disco del matrimonio Brown, Robert y Amy, Northern Valentine, con residencia en la ciudad de Philadelphia. De corte ambiental hacen uso extensivo de los drones para crear atmósferas, como el propio sello define, glaciales y cálidas, minimalistas y densas, relajantes e inconsolables. El disco, grabado con micrófono ambiente en estudio en tomas únicas donde existía vía libre, para ellos y los músicos invitados, de improvisar, se inspira en las experiencias de su gira en verano de 2008 por Islandia junto a For a minor reflection (teloneros de sigur rós).
El libreto presenta algunas fotografías de sus espacios naturales que ilustran de forma fiel lo que nos encontraremos en los extensos seis cortes del disco… una amplitud gélida pero extremadamente bella allí donde las colinas son de verde hierba porque hace demasiado frío para que crezcan los árboles y el a
zul es omnipresente en un cielo iluminado debilmente por el sol y que se une en el horizonte con el océano.
Contienen distintos niveles de sonoridad, siendo los más altos los de Die Solis y Dimanche los más bajos, pero manteniéndose siempre en lo puramente atmosférico. Es amable, y sólo da cierto espacio a la duda en Escaping Light cuando pareciera que la caída de la noche generará un poco de inquietud, en soledad y ante la total ausencia de luz.
HOTEL HOTEL: THE SAD SEA
After Northern Valentine’s stunning debut, I was expecting a fair amount from Hotel Hotel’s The Sad Sea, another offering from prolific drone imprint Silber Records. What do you know? They delivered.
This expansive yet personal record is a thoroughly engaging work of atmospheric post-rock. Skilfully treading the line between gradual, droning moodpieces and more fleshed out Explosions in the Sky-esque instrumental rock, The Sad Sea makes for a distinctly enveloping listen. Custom made for dazey late-night listening under dim lights (or no light at all), these eight tracks flow into one another smoothly, seemingly telling a story along the way. Indeed, the track titles themselves outline the fable, although I find it more rewarding to conjure up my own images to match the sounds.
I will remark that, at times, The Sad Sea does risk losing its audience’s attention. Perhaps occasionally, Hotel Hotel’s vast musical excursions may be better suited to background mood-setting as opposed to consuming one’s full attention. However, this criticism could be applied to many such atmospheric records, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Like Explosions in the Sky or Stars of the Lid, Hotel Hotel has mastered the art of building a beautiful record out of slow-moving, unassuming compositions.
Sidenote: Full credit to Silber Records for the impeccable design on this release.
~ Matt Shimmer, indieville
This CD from 2008 offers 44 minutes of moody ambience.
Hotel Hotel is P.D. Wilder and Patrick Patterson, with an assortment of guests on violins and guitars.
Clouds of violins and guitars are heavily processed to achieve a moody ambience.
After being subjected to extreme treatments, these layers of strings generate a haunting disposition, one wrought with a distinctly intentional edginess. The drones drift and billow with a lassitude that evokes a downbeat despondency, suitably capturing the feeling of being lost at sea. The sounds grind against each other, not in contention but allied to escalate an ambient mien into a searing intensity as the harmonics attain a teeth-rattling pitch. At times, the guitars cast off their mutated facade and resonate with traditional notes of an endearing demeanor.
Drums are present in some tracks, contributing lazy, almost hesitant rhythms. While possessing a rock sensibility, this percussion is buried in the mix so as to generate a remote vantage, further enhancing the mood of lost hope.
There are frequent instances of harsh intensity as the blending layers reach recurrent pinnacles, rising from droney definition to flourish as blinding passages of white light.
Keyboards are utilized too, usually manifesting as somber piano mirroring the music’s overall sadness.
These compositions excellently communicate a sense of detachment and alienation, plunging the listener into the position of an aimless ocean voyage going nowhere.
~ Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
Hotel Hotel’s initial existence has already had enough going for it to supply at least several art films’ worth of scripts, ranging from disappearing drummers in airports to encounters with obsessed maritime adventurers. This last situation fed into the creation of the band’s second album, The Sad Sea, an appropriately oceanic sounding wash of majestic guitars and drones in the band’s preferred post-Mogwai/Godspeed approach to music. Beginning with the appropriately titled “From Harbour,” with the gentlest of feedback tones and a low rumbling undercarriage suggesting the start of a larger voyage, The Sad Sea initially doesn’t have the full feeling of what is thematically promised — often each piece is mostly a gentle variation on what has already come beforehand. However, with the album’s fourth track, “Equator in the Meantime (Black Sabbath),” the first to prominently feature drums, things take on a new intensity, and while Hotel Hotel’s artistic scope is well-defined within its general parameters, there are still notable moments to be had. The inclusion of solo violin parts in the overall arrangements lends the album’s best songs a queasy, stranger edge, the more so because it can so easily blend into some of the more standard guitar textures, while the band’s full burst into the climactic two-part closer, “The Captain Goes Down with the Ship,” covers both exultant sky-scraping surges and a final slow wash to wrap things up on a fine note. Meanwhile, if “The Shoreline Disappears” is in some respects an inevitable variation — the primary instrument is piano, with a steady, softly descending melodic loop setting the tone — it’s still a lovely one, with the addition of distant feedback creating a lost, forlorn air.
~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
The instrumental group Hotel Hotel’s latest album opens with a sense of peace but also expectation, fitting for a song called “From Harbour”, the beginning of a maritime-themed album. Underneath the calm demeanor of the song a guitar is squirming around at the bottom, summoning up thoughts of wind, waves, ghosts or something stranger. The sense of expectation builds over the next couple songs, picking up a sense of fear, especially on “Mary Celeste”, named of course after the unmanned ghost ship of 1872.
The song after that is where fear builds to an explosive moment; appropriately, it’s a song with the parenthetical title “Black Sabbath”. This is the band at its heaviest, but still mood, texture and the individual playing of the group’s five musicians (plus two, here) are not lost. That last quality is one thing that sets Hotel Hotel apart from their contemporaries. Crystal-clear playing and a dominant mood do not have to be at odds, as they prove.
The trajectory of the album heads towards a calmer state over the last few songs, but a distinctly unsettled one. So not calm at all, I guess: a deceptive tranquility. After all, the last two titles are “The Captain Goes Down With the Ship (Sinking)” and “The Captain Goes Down With the Ship (Drowning)”.
The song titles and giant-squid cover-art help the album tell a seafaring tale, but the music itself feels broader than that, in mood and emotion. The album title, though, is apt and simply stated: The Sad Sea.
~ Dave Heaton, Erasing Clouds
Texas-based quintet Hotel, Hotel take the schooner out for an unexpectedly long spin in this full-length release from Silber Media. As with their previous efforts, “Over Sea, Under Storm” and “ALLHEROESAREFORVERBOLD;” this disc is an ultra-lush affair– and as an added bonus, the packaging is finally starting to catch up.
Excellent recording quality features throughout. Although the thrum of the propeller engines may be conjured through layered bass and guitar echoes, you’ll never feel like you’re trying to listen to it in a ship’s hold. On the other hand, a bit more of a murky quality might have worked– it’s really more dependent on what the listener thinks Hotel, Hotel was hoping to accomplish. Andrew Liles 2006 release “The Dying Submariner” was far more grim and immediate; whereas “The Sad Sea” seems to chronicle comparable events outside the first-person perspective used in “The Dying Submariner”. Think of your own needs as a listener before rushing out to pick this one up. If you want to be ON the boat, this might not be the right album for you. If you want to watch it’s last journey, and revel as mans’ work succumbs to the sea– well, this is your disc.
“The Sad Sea” is availab
le from Silber Media as release . They’re also cool enough to put “Over Sea, Under Storm” up as a free download.
Think DaveX is full of shit? Read someone else’s review while you suck eggs!
~ Startling Moniker
Imagine the Dirty Three jamming with Bowery Electric on a mixture of vicodin and qualuudes. Imagine being at Terrastock and finally hearing the band you’ve been waiting for 3 days to hear: This is dreamy violin fronted, instrumental, pulsing in waves, echoing in your mind, hypnotic truly beautiful dreamscapes, molded out of the clay that could only be made with the dirt of martian soil mixed with the bones of the faithful who were called to their knees by the tolling of the iron bell. All tracks great, pick any.
1) starts quiet but becomes a slow brushed cymbal dream with violin melodies echo’ing and drones and… goddamn this is BEAUTIFUL
2) starts very quiet, like wind, becomes a dreamy shoe gazing slow plod masterpiece with violin
3) near collage, looping, noisey drone
4) more of a purposeful improv, still very spacey but dense, almost a jam out
5) piano playing intro, somber and sorta sad, chill the whole way through
6) very Bowery Electric sounding, big drums and big soaring tones, who needs narcs?
Slow rock beat with waves of lush opiates and beautiful soaring guitar, tones, beat ritardandos and just sorta makes it way mindfully throughout the tapestry
7) very chill, no drums, just layers of strings, droney lush and beautiful
8) like last song, but with drums, very dreamy
~ Zookeeper Online
Hotel Hotel’s The Sad Sea is beautiful and really sensible album. But rather than beauty it’s the scars that fascinate and this album has none. The Sad Sea includes too many too long tracks and the songs have very little movement inside them; it’s just like a standing wave, no energy is transferred.
There are very limited amount of hooks that would keep the music interesting, and the main hook used in every song is stillness. Songs are mainly comparatively long instrumentals and nearly every song follows the same pattern: first fade in, then some synthetic hum and unfocused guitars emulating the sound scape of sea and then fade out. While creating original atmospheres with some weird sounds Hotel Hotel seem to have forgotten one of the main components in music: the melody.
It’s unquestionable that a great album should be a seamless entirety. The Sad Sea is a collection of songs which stand good on their own, but when summarized to a record they don’t support each other. Rather than supporting, the songs incorporate too much same elements and end up being very same. Thus the tracks kind of interfere with each other and the result is kind of unstable.
The key track of the album is the eight-minute long Equator in the Meantime, although you can argue is it any good to rise it above any other track on the album. One can only ask, that what’s the point in making an album without any progress, where every song is a more or less a remake of the one before?
At first, The Sad sea seems to be quite interesting, but after a while it start’s to get boring. I guess The sad sea achieved what Hotel hotel was trying to achieve with it, but when the goal is to make a record what makes the time feel like it is crawling two times slower than normally, it’s no good. When I want to listen to post-rock, I rather listen to Sigur rós. If I want to hear long chords, I’d prefer to check out John Cage’s As Slow As Possible.
~ Heathen Harvest
IF THOUSANDS – I HAVE NOTHING
“I have nothing.” Certainly not the most elaborate of album titles, but possibly one of the most austere and accurate in terms of the ground covered on the disc. Nothing is Everything and Everything is Nothing. This is something I covered in a Crowleyian manifesto called the Cycle of Naught for ftheworld.com when I was seventeen or maybe even sixteen and it was covered by some turtlenecked shitter before me when he invented the glass half full half empty formula for assessing a situation.
You can look on this album as something balefully beautiful, something encompassing the vacant yet vast landscape of the world and its tethered heart, or you can look on it as a moribund shoegazing exercise in go-nowhere bleakness. You’d be right either way, but the former is less myopic and more deferential to the sentient Bipeds who conceived of its meticulous flow.
And it does flow. Like galvanized particles running through circuitry, circuitry buzzing through power lines or winds propelled through lonesome vistas, themselves abuzz with their own electric and achingly profound singularity.
The sounds here are what your emotional make-up allows them to be, but only a primordial douchebag could decipher anything less than vast and carefully researched universal orgiasm from the proceedings.
This isn’t Noise in the sense of “Let’s piss everybody off,” which, in itself, is valid in our Century. But it does contain a muted and, paradoxically, blaring Nihilism that tugs at what’s left of the sinewy, scar tissue-stricken heart strings of the keen listener.
For the sake of the god of effigies DON’T read the song titles! There hasn’t been anything this misleading since Marilyn Manson promised us the Apocalypse in Circus Magazine or Hit Parader, back in 1996. But suffice it to say that the tones and drones and tool-shed scratchy trenchant haruspex on something like “Cymbol” (You didn’t read that title) is incomprehensible in any alphabetical combination. It surpasses language in written form. Like all worthwhile music, from Mudbelly and Mike Patton to Van Morrison and Maynard James Keenan. And “Crispin Glover” is as weird, multi-faceted and misunderstood as the human visage who goes by the name Crispin Glover.
By the end of that first song I shouldn’t have mentioned by name, your hypothalamus is as serrated as your sixth sense, your guts are cowering in your asshole and your chest is thrust out like that of a mastodon on the defensive and you feel like it’s raining Ronsonol in your weary eyes.
The next bit finds you opening those eyes, or maybe a new pair, hammered on Halcyon + On + On, in a virtual K-Hole, cocks at your feet and a screen door admonishing you of what the dog is about to bark. Billy’s caught in a well or Janis is in jail and the sun is black and dripping something foul on your crop and maybe it’s not even your crop and what’s it matter anyway because there’s something out there and you know what it is but you’re not at all sure that you are prepared to grapple with it even as you plod ahead with patina-laden spade at your side, you palm bleeding from clutching it so hard and crystalline tears drying to a film in the corners of your curious peepers as a spacey vibe emerges and washes over you in a most foreign way.
Maybe it’s not so hopeless. Or maybe. Maybe it is, maybe it’s just another dreary night on the corner. But you’ll never know the difference and that’s what makes it all so absurdly gorgeous, so lustfully, delicately, immaculately perfect. It’s why a David Lynch film makes you cum from the center of your chest in a quiet fashion, why you want to hug the old Eagle Scout for giving you Roy Orbison’s “Cryin” in spiritually grinding and all-around perplexing Spanish splendor with a little blue box. We should all be so lucky as to dwell inside a radiator. Because the mystery is…
It just is. And its existence is reason enough.
~ Bob Freeville, Kotori Magazine