KID SHIRT

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

SPLIT INFINITIVES

Another 7”, not Finnish this time, but American and it’s, oooh, at least 150 years old (well, okay, it actually came out in 1999 on the awesome Polyamory label, but there’s still a few copies floating around out there on the internet):



Now, where did I put the rest of the cover. Ah, there it is:



A split-single, as you can see, but consisting of two groups; both Psychedelic, but in completely different ways, and both exploring the idea of creating miniature ‘excerpts’ that imply the existence of a theoretically much larger Uber-recording of which this is the barest, measliest micro bacon-slice thru the fattened flank of; leaving our data-starved imagination to fill in the macro-blanks, create a larger frame, a meta-context, etc. Well, I say that these are implied excerpts, but, for all I know there could actually be a crate of tapes out there somewhere, documenting the entire two-month jam-session. And, believe me, I would happily sit and listen to them too.

The Golden Calves were a terrific little group who imploded a few years back, with some of the members going native and forming the collective that would eventually become Wooden Wand and The Vanishing Voice.

Closed-Captioning for the Blind (Ten Dollar Bash)“ is the idiot-bastard Hippie Love-Child of Brian and Bob‘s “The Heavenly Music Corporation” distilled, or rather thickened down into a single 4 minute sexy slab of creamy, dreamy delay-driven guitar-whorl caught in the heavy undertow of backwards analogue-synth shwooooshes. Gooey, gluey and chewy. Trippertronics, anyone?

Eerie, twilight, meditative psychedrone designed for lucid-dreaming. Spacious and open-ended, an inner-mind womb-tunnel, slowly curving and twisting away from us, filled with a bright white light that floods out from within the tunnel walls: its beauty is hightened by the fact that it hints at an ultimate destination, yet never actually arrives there. It’s up to the listener to complete the journey.

This one could run and run.

Meanwhile

Brooklyn-based Avant-Psych-Folk supergroup Hall of Fame (featuring Samara Lubelski, Dan Brown & Theo Angel: revolutionary heroes, one and all!) have been busy since 1995, channelling the dusty ghosts of, uh, Angus MacLise and Sun Ra thru violins, damaged percussion and broken-down valve-amps in an attempt to create a new form of atonal urban campfire music. (Crackle and hiss of old 78’s escapes thru narrow crack in Space/Time down thru cold, windswept streets of 1961...boarded-up, long-forgotten Village coffee-shops and mildew‘d loft-spaces…pale spectral sound-forms trapped inside the contour of their own echoes…).

Baby, I’ve been grazed by the way you cut me all the time” is a twisted snippet, a tiny corner trimmed from an immense, imaginary macro soundworld. Broadcast live from the interior of a hollowed-out metal skull-bowl: languid string-drones weave a precarious flight-path, circling and cycling each other, in no particular hurry to get anywhere that you might recognise. Echoplexed electro-tone vs. viola-scrape and the occasional slow volcanic hiss of cracked cymbalsplash: this is a brittle prototype, a rough but spacious approximation of a nightmare I once had as a child: ochre and dark-yellow leaves, curled and dried by an unforgiving sun, lie suspended over an endless milk-white void.

Then they suddenly burst into flames. It was one of the most terrifying and inexplicable (yet beautiful) things I’ve ever seen.

By contrast, this track is stately and measured, a morbid slow-burn, a low-slung scrapescape where the tension is created by a growing dread that this music will never resolve itself in any traditional narrative sense, nor will it ever be explained or allowed to reach any satisfactory conclusion. There is no real terror here…just a sense of mounting unease that if this music is allowed to continue, then nothing will ever happen to you again. Or, at least, nothing that you could understand. And that is terrifying in itself. The track presents itself as nothing more (or less) than a cross-section through an infinitely-long musical Moebius-Strip, a grim and unsettling road that one day will eventually return back to itself. We have been allowed a fleeting glimpse of a tiny, almost inconsequential part of a larger whole and, for that, I’m e/ternally grateful; anything more than a four minute shapshot, a polaroid photo of the outskirts of God, would be more than anyone could ever bear.

Human eyes and ears just ain’t ready for that shit yet.