Colorguard – ‘Channels’; and Arabian Blade – ‘Perpetuate Myself’ [Review]

R-4336344-1364831903-7288Along with the recently-reviewed by Jon Eriksen, these two tapes complete the latest batch from the young Elm Recordings.  First is from labelmaker Kryssi’s own Colorguard: as to the point as Eriksen, Kryssi keeps her sides short, filling the spectrum of side A with coarse chunks of feeback and a Cagey radio experiment of spun dials.  Tuning in to nothing, she instead activates the rhythm axis, placing the sound into motion to sometimes sensual, sometimes comic effect – all the more impressive considering this is half a C13.  The hands-on feel of the manual experiment is erased – along with everything else – in the blank repetition of side B.  A single syllable is uttered in a pale cassette haze, a trick of deafening not by volume but by muting the experience of listening.  A rare, but really excellent experience from such a fleeting release.

R-4336348-1364831842-6170The duo of Arabian Blade (Chris Donofrio and Donovan Fazzino) seem no more unified than here, in their two-handed approach to ‘Perpetuate Myself.’  Simple in form and seemingly all post-production as it moves to and fro between what seem to be just two sonic objects in each moment, the tape makes more of less by not rushing to coherence or fullness but by building and leaving uncertain.  Seemingly composed of four untitled tracks, side A a beam and a breath, the first a reluctant blast of heavy reverb, the second a golden resting pulse and a tense low-end throb in granular definition.  Side B dispenses with even more of the form, at first appearing as pure timbre, a single effect exciting the entire soundfield causing it to warp subtly like a wrinkle which becomes tightly peaked into a single form of its own.  From this relief comes the final movement, if not its own track then certainly its own idea, as the hands introduce phase to an emerging rhythm; the binaural effect is a jarring bit of grime kept classy by atmospheric filters and a slow-burning transitions.  With art by Mike Haley (905 Tapes, Wether).  Both tapes hand-numbered to 100 copies.

Elm Tapes cassette

Comments are closed.