Anunziata/Ghost in Salad split [Review]

3949675341-1This split C32 is a nice return to form of the bad, early days of the cassette revival, when Not Not Fun and Arbor were gluing-on rhinestones and no one got a whole tape to themselves. Shared between Anunziata (Matt Jugenheimer) and Ghost in Salad (Jeff Johnson), the pair of sides demonstrate conspicuous bedside engineering – not “lo-fi”, but “post-fi” – existing more for the vehicle of the cassette than any anti-industry statement a la The Dead C (though Jugenheimer starts sounding pretty Iran-ian toward the end). That’s not to say the musical content is negligible – that claim would cut in both directions in any case – but simply that the act of sitting down with the cassette settles into a particular groove of not-so-distant listening nostalagized in my crinkly brain. The Anunziata track, called “Inspiration Stump,” is something like an irreverent Fennesz parody: centering guitar in the midst of a post-structural electronic swirl, the track’s disparate fits and starts – aggregating three discrete vignettes by my count – veer drunkenly, not dramatically, recasting crunch and clamor with reckless abrasion, as aloof drum programming nods off rather than holding a steady hand. Small, non-reverberated bells and the odd clunked string further tone-down the intrigue, as the side concludes with a Sic Alps/Siltbreezy garage-psych tag that will make you rethink the 13 minutes preceding. On the flip, Ghost in Salad follows a similar progression from tracks (and titles) of formlessness (“Blahhh”, “Penny”) to something with more structural spine (“Fum Flumb”, “Mole”). Similar to the last movement of his partner’s side, each track is drums, voice and percussion, fuzzed and obtuse, but now in shades of twee and stoned. Without closing the loop back around to the more experimental sounds of side A, the tape beckons to some future release – perhaps a long-player, perhaps a monograph – and the emergence of more such solid songs from the shadows of cassette nostalgia. Cassettes come with laser printer labels and j-cards, in an edition of 100.

self-released cassette

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