Friday, December 19, 2008

Uneven Universe - Nightcrawler Walls (DNT Records CS)

Haunted Castle's a name a lot of people know about, but lately that unit's Dan and Holly have been putting out more stuff under their new Uneven Universe project. Opting for the basement sax-electronics rig, the duo put out some serious no-go jams that fit right in with that whole midwest sound. This new DNT offering serves up a mighty slab well worth digging into.

Opening with some electronic screech, it doesn't take long for the saxes to come in, bending around and echoing about behind aquarium bubbles. Keeping the skronk in control, Dan and Holly opt for an emphasize on taut unity of feel, with virtually every sax line serving as further textural drive to the electronic slashing. That bass low-end cranking keeps things as dismal as possible, but there's some lively interplay here as the sax's delay sends it bouncing about in the murky waters and buzzing click-clack of dismembered tape loops. Some beautiful moments come of it too, when the elctronics slink back to almost nothing and the sax moves about in lyrical dissonance only to be punctuated by some screeching oscillation or distant cargo carrier bellow.

I guess this stuff could be compared to a group like Graveyards or Slither, but in my eyes it's a bit more Handicapper Horns style. Staying away from being too jazzy or low-end constructivist, the unit keep things intimate and fairly personal despite the apparent coldness of the atmosphere itself. It's imrpov without being "improv," staying noisey enough that there are genuinely unexpected moments of total morticious terror as well as stretches of immense softness and beauty. Has to be a killer live show.

I could really go on and on about this as this is a sound I can really get behind, but instead I'll just suggest you find something by them, especially as they seem to have releases popping up everywhere right now. This cassette's sold out from DNT, but he says to e-mail if you're looking for it, and I'm sure Tomentosa's got a copy. Worth watching, very playful and thoughtful without trying so hard as to become sterile. And you gotta love the skeleton print on the tape, it's too perfect.

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