Silent Land Time Machine – ‘I Am No Longer Alone With Myself And Can Only Artificially Recall The Scary And Beautiful Feeling Of Solitude’; and Smokey Emery – ‘Quartz’ [Review]


Austin, TX’s Silent Land Time Machine makes its second appearance, following a full-length debut on the sadly foregone Time-Lag. With a title to make Celer smile, the 12” EP ‘I Am No Longer Alone With Myself And Can Only Artificially Recall The Scary And Beautiful Feeling Of Solitude’ additionally offers a sound supplementary to bedroom romantics all over. From the glum, psychological poetry of the title to the images of soviet monuments stylized on the cover art, SLTM confronts the world in avatars and sonic photoshopping, representing life in emotional mash-ups of musical expressionism under a heavy patina. That patina is affect, broadly-defined, turning the general matter of these tracks into micro drones from out of which, sometimes (most times), a rhythm or hint of melody ascends like stereograms. Something like a low-tech Lucky Dragons or less spooky version of Ireland’s Plinth, “Even Floating Islands Fall,” “Automata,” and “An Own to One’s Room” electrify hammer and pluck with effects adding the swell of strings and voices to a state of reverie. Though hardly dance music, beats do appear and at times consume, as “Kissa” emerges from an ecstatic rabble reminiscent of Polmo Polpo. Creating a dynamic tension within this relatively short collection, “Remembering Names” and “Dealing w/ Doubt” resemble a third band of the gradient which could tentatively be named “sublime”: sooty and bright like Black Swan, keen on swift amplification, these formless fields of sound aren’t so precious as they first appear, but demonstrate the same blunt theses as Colleen, and similar builders of tallships in bottles. In an edition of 500 on clear, 180 gram vinyl in heavy sleeves. Recommended.

qtzIn good, albeit mixed company on the Indian Queen label is ‘Quartz’ by Smokey Emery (Daniel Hipolito). With a deceptively Noisy, yet ultimately apt sleeve collage, “abrasive” is the first quality familiar from more conventional Noise Music.  But this abrasion does not emerge across a frequency, but at a higher order of phrasing and obscurantism   Like the SLTM release above, Hipolito exercises a theoretical stripe of minimalism, disguised beneath the affective textures of copious effects (and in this regard, even more resembling Black Swan).  From the snared repetition of track one (“Movement VI [Jumping the Fire]”) to the bleary offset of track three (“Movement V”), he deconstructs down to a (torn) thumbnail, an equation, then runs the program with all sliders up. Where new formations appear, there is a strong whiff of melancholia – some particular moments from Hexlove first came to mind – but soon this seems accidental, where the true formula rests unfeeling, just beneath the surface.  Thus, ‘Quartz’ comes freighted from below with a sense of uncanny and general creepy which is entirely foreign to his labelmate, generating a wonderful contrast between a joyful noise and a noise more purely kept.  In an edition of 300 copies on black vinyl.

Indian Queen Records LP & 7”

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