Monday, September 15, 2008

Fossils From the Sun - From Another Sun (Tape Drift CD-R)

Just had Century Plants roll through campus for a killer show with New Monuments, a trio of Ben Hall of Graveyards, Brokenresearch, et al., C Spencer Yeh of Burning Star Core and Don Dietrich of Borbetomagus. Killer night all around, but it also motivated me to finally get around to this disc, the first solo effort from Ray of Century Plants' under his Fossils From the Sun moniker.

If you've heard Century Plants, Fossils From the Sun will be no surprise to you--a lot fo this material sounds like a more minimalist take on that group's efforts. Splitting the bill between slow guitar crawlers, synth masheries, and gentle guitar constructions, the whole thing flows like a charm, keeping each idea enclosed within itself without losing any of the seamlessness of pacing that surrounds every good album. Take the first track, "Orange Blue," and its transition into the second, "Tasting the Crown." Starting off with a simple chordal pattern warmly strummed, "Orange Blue" uses its two minutes well, lulling you to get lost in it without it overstaying its welcome. As soon as it cuts, "Tasting the Crown" comes in, creaking across the speakers like some frayed electric lines pumping heavy electron juice into some hillside or nearby cumulonimbus action. It's a different sound for sure, but one that is far from disconnected to the previous. Rather, it sets up another side of Hare's sound--each facet represented allows for more to be allowed throughout the disc.

"An Audit of the Sun," the nine minute third track, is a wobbling heap of static and lo-fi drone with aspects of both Slow Listener and ultra-cruddy Skaters' sides. It's a pretty gigantic beast by its end, so "Love" is a welcome respite. It's soft Loren Connors-y vibe, though perhaps a bit less minimal and more loping (in a good way). "Will the Circle Be Broken?" is another solo guitar effort, only this time less pure and a tad bit more strung out as if Spacemen 3 had decided to jam out with Harmonia, only with a touch for gentle, unapologetic beauty that those group's surely lacked.

By the time the even more kosmiche "Happy" feeds into "Velcro," an eight minute sludged out marathon of tasty licks fried to the bone, Hare basically has you along for the ride, and you can fully entrust that the last track, "I'm Gonna Lose You (Song For a Future Sun)," will take you exactly where it must for the album to work. Starting off with a series of loops played through what sound like heating vents, the whole ride swarms up, for a good four and a half minutes before cutting right in the middle for a brief reverb drenched ditty of peace and quiet. Something to settle in by as the night draws to a close and the high wears off. Another Tape Drift winner.

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