Monday, November 10, 2008
Do Tell - S/T (Housecraft 2XCS)
A stack of new Housecraft releases arrived recently, so I figured I'd start digging into them, especially as my band's tape is being released by the label this coming Thursday, the next full moon no less! So call it a plug if you will, but the material Jeff's been putting out more than warrants the review treatment; Housecraft's been in some spot on territory for a while now.
Do Tell is the pseudonym of Kyle Conklin, and as far as I can tell this double C-40 is his debut full length. Really don't know any more about the man behind the sounds, but I can say this: Do Tell is an epic collection on par with Super Minerals' mammoth Not Not Fun tape released a ways back, managing to present an extended look at the work of one person over what I suspect is a relatively substantial period of his musical development. This "best of" style presentation could lose some of its charm in its broad scope, but Do Tell works to provide more in its vastness. Instead we can see the vast depth of an already fully realized aesthetic, and it works beautifully. Of course maybe this is merely a long album and all of this "best of" stuff doesn't apply here at all.. can't really tell. Still worth ruminating on I suppose.
As for the tunes, the whole thing opens up with some nice and gentle drone, with thick textures of warm high end and undulating waves of bass that seep right in there and just bob around for a bit. When the waves of another track come in beneath rich chords of guitar gesturing, it manages to dissolve any misgivings I may have had about waves in music and the connotations of such "natural moods" style works. It's beautiful, and only further set off by the quickly arrived at state of the next track, which scraps along in some strange percussive netherworld before the guitar, again reverberative and warm, overtakes the clanging in favor of gorgeous flowing drawls while monkey calls and dog barks meddle around in the background.
Conklin explores darker territory too, but it's never without its sense of beauty and awe. The deep rumble on one track, mixed with the shooting star machinery of these high end, cross-town, synth slides, creates some dark matter blanket of cosmically inclined patchwork over which calls can be made, radio heard chattering, general moments of minute actions and gestures. Cavernous, like some love hole in your mind. The disc further delves into New Agey lands on the crystalline piano of the next track, whose arpeggios are slow and selective atop the higher drones of the synth. Walks the right side of a fine line, it does, and always makes sure to follow up with an extra weird one (try warbling saw lines and weird, folky drone vibes, like the folk music of druids only as rich and heartfelt as any true music of a land is, not some shitty fantasy creature soundtrack...).
And on to side two... actually, no, it's not necessary, the idea is there. The tape has enough carefully conceived gorgeosity that I could go on about it for some time. For those into the Emeralds/Sam Goldberg/Eno/Cluster realm of this world, this will be a must have. Every side is as varied and beautiful as the first, and with eighty minutes to explore it'll be most frequented. Sold out from the source, but check Tomentosa and the like. The package is as beautiful as it looks.