‘The Pale Light’ marks just the sixth release from Elm Recordings, the new tape label run by Kryssi (Colorguard) out of New Haven, CT. Elm City resident Jon Eriksen keeps his discriminating appearance short and sweet with two long-form tracks split between the short-form sides of a C15. Fitting, the exiled Swede has run a tight ship, poring over the most recent incarnation of his sound with semi-regular performances and even scanter releases (his LP will be an embarrassment of riches when it drops later this year.) While familiar to harsh noise of a technical, high-definition sort – his earlier CDrs have a strong resemblance to the most surgical cuts of John Wiese – Eriksen’s work of the last few years has migrated toward maximal melodic ragas verging on Tim Hecker and Fennesz. Side A, “The pale light, white and muted” (the titles will thrill the loftiest of impressionists), is a turgid blast of metallic squawk and sing refracted and illuminating a coarsely carved background. On the reverse, “In the dusk, hiding” exhibits more a singular focus, familiar to the processed guitars of Jef Ledesma and Alex Cobb. Now emitting as a source of light, the shard of a cursor jags wildly in the upper registers, vibrating white hot at its edges and distorting the surrounding sound field. Demonstrating a similar interest in the biomechanics of Menche, and without the totalizing experience of overt Noise worshippers, Eriksen’s rescaling of harsh patches within the rhythmic grid evokes the new generation of electronica on the Invada label, where the maturing technology of noise is returned to a rediscovered context of musicality. My favorite from the artist so far. Paper inserts and pasted labels, in a hand-numbered edition of 110 tapes. Very recommended.
Elm Recordings cassette