I have been trying to get to writing about these two albums now for quite a while but day-to-day stuff always gets in the way. Like hunting for reviewers like a starving hyena. Or trolling the internet for better cassette deals. Or staring blankly at the wall. The latter is what I am pretty good at. Suffice to say this leaves precious few moments for reflection upon things outside of my bubble when faced by a glowing screen eager for distraction & intimacy. But the time is now.
I picked up Talk West’s Freights & Fields from the No Kings site a while back solely on a recommendation from, oh who the fuck remembers now, I certainly don’t. I could have been the art (which is great & I don’t think I had heard of Dylan Aycock then) but then again, that’s the wonder of the web – music delivered to your door, sight-unheard. Moving on…
Freights & Fields is a mostly acoustic affair, lo-fi but not crunchy. This is what people imagine the word “warm” is when referring to its purported analog qualities – in another field one would call it what it is, which is digital hiss. But in this case I can almost see the tubes flickering in an old RCA tabletop radio below open windows in the twilight. Overall the atmosphere provided by the fidelity is a perfect vehicle for the tunes within – the whole album would be the perfect revisionist score to something western and odd like Paris, Texas or perhaps Badlands. In fact I would love to see Tarkovsky’s Stalker re-cut with this album – now that would be something sublime. F&F is pretty magical stuff: pedal steel, looped and spun becomes akin to competing AM stations too close on the same dial, bleeding in and out of phase in some slow, warm, fevered dream & pump organ drone and classical string loops slowly unwind and flow ’round the sagebrush and burned earth. Don’t want to prime you too much with my impressions – just go get it. Much recommended.
get it at No Kings
Mohawk Park is Aycock and Brad Rose: the latter’s name you will recognize if you have spent any time in internet cassette culture in the states, even though his long Oklahoma arm reaches far across the world with his now vinyl Digitalis imprint and daily music zine Foxy Digitalis. Rose has had a long career as a musician under the moniker Charlatan and The North Sea being the most prominent of those, though he has been releasing music since 1994. This Ungeometric Circuit collaboration has the two deep in the underbelly of some dark horror – in fact I made a glib remark to someone that it reminded me of Tobe Hooper & Wayne Bell’s score to Texas Chainsaw Massacre but the longer I listened to it the more similarities I found. Akin with that soundtrack is the din of the grinding and clanging of some dark evil, pulsing and stretching its manacles to the point of failure – a great tension that is held throughout the four track, 34 minute release and finally released to a certain degree in the final minute, with what could be the sound of a shovel, digging earth for a most likely nefarious purpose. That poorly constructed sentence does not do justice to the album, so forgive me that. I wish I could play for ya’ll the second track, Snakewhites, but the size exceeds the max upload for this cheap fucking WP fucking mp3 uploader. So you are just going to have to buy it and please yourself with this third track (which is just as good).
get it at Scissortail Records