‘ikot akpa ntim,’ the latest from Calypso Borealis. A community regular for the last two years, the name is familiar at an intuitive level beyond the regular appearances on Hooker Vision, Cloud Valley, House of Sun, and Kimberly Dawn, among others. Rob of ((Cave)) provides the cover art, recalling Ted Trager’s work for early Stunned releases. Completing the package is the sound, a half hour in sensory deprivation (so to speak), made from artifacts of focal objects: the clatter of sticks (but no resonance), the high metallic buzz (without a full, middle tone), a murmur (with no voice), the harmonic remnants of a melody (yet no melody.) To be clear, there’s not no sound – what the mind fills in is actually a wealth of sources and instruments – but the sound that is here is lesser than a sound. It’s remarkable, really, a stunning show of restraint. And the knife cuts both ways: stand-out track “Kponkponto” effaces a Noise rock collision by the same method, presenting the barest of feedback fringe and motoric low end, the effect being a well-paced latticework of sound which is delicate without fragility. While “drone” may be the over-riding genre, or at least target demographic, this would be an abuse of the breadth that is minimalism. “Sirigi-Moke,” a fluttering stereo construction, distills the entirety of Growing’s ‘Sky’s Run Into the Sea’ to a single track, recruiting velocity to underline the generative thrust of this unconventional rock music. 100 copies with thick inserts and vellum tracklists. Recommended.
((Cave)) Recordings C30