Gripgevest & Kling [Review]

R-150-4222582-1365013020-7026Having posted my review of the very good comp from Belgian collective and tape label Hare Akedod after the thing was all sold out, I made the point of bumping this next arrival, the label’s fifth, to the top of the pile.  The Gripgevest & Kling C38, by the pairing of David Edren and Bent von Bent, meshes nicely with the scope and diversity of the label comp, suggesting a fractal relationship between the collectivity and its constitutive members.  The sound is foremost psychedelic electroacoustic – more Popol Vuh kraut than Vanishing Voice neohippy – where the six tracks emerge from a sympathetic vibration of analog synths and guitars, and the otherwise disparate instruments of flute, zither, and voice come to conform to this brassy resonance.  That is to say, where the tape would find a welcome fit among the earthen tones of Digitalis (alongside Starving Weirdos, early Barn Owl, even many of the Rose’s own works), there is a certain continental principle at work here, stretching way back to who knows when and smuggled through the rock and experimental dynasties of Amon Düül and Tangerine Dream, which suggests a modernist grid, yes, but something more than that, perhaps a premodern mysticism which needn’t have gone the way of the grid.  The microtones of “Tweespalt der Zielen” sing with the curt insistence of a mandolin, the deep hum which grounds the entire album not disengaging but regularly convening as if to endorse these ornaments in the higher registers.  But to be clear, this mysticism is not the feel-good animism of the new agers, but a gothic by which those types would sense a dark cynicism in the whelping of requiem “Ondergronds Geduld,” and not surprised by the horror film anxieties of “Graafaarde” which ends the cassette.  At the apex of this descent, “Sermoenstonde” nicely summarizes the album in just a couple brief minutes: over a looping zither, the growing ring of steel strings chimes with eastern figures but always the hint of digital malice, the entire image scrawled horizontally like a sinister signature.  Limited to 77 copies, with fancy paper inserts featuring the label’s particular brand of kitsch-pulp imagery.  Recommended.

 Hare Akedod C38

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