Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rambutan - Fallen Smoke (Abandon Ship Records 3" CD-R)

Eric Hardiman's resume is quickly growing as he moves into more and more personal territory. First the bassist of Burnt Hills, then half of Century Plants, and finally solo as Rambutan, Hardiman's growth is palpable, his vision unique. This 3" on Abandon Ship captures Rambutan's first live outing, though this is clearly the work of a veteran in psych psychosis.

I've already spoken of my fondness for the 3" format here, so it was thrilling to throw this on and be treated to its one twenty minute track. Starting with hollow vocal yalps which create a cavernous, echoing effect, the piece slowly develops as the various sonorities bounce around the space of the UAG, a small gallery over on Lark Street whose long and thin space seems a perfect location for such billowing and smokey sonic drifts as these. As loops build atop one another and a sinister giggle is added, the work continuous its endless expansion, spiraling downward in to some pit of beautiful light.

The amount of focus allowed for on a format such as this is perfectly taken advantage of here. Hardiman's restraint and careful compositional process is further explored here, expanding on his full length release on his own Tape Drift label by presenting another side of his sound. As the piece continues to bend around itself, never changing so much that you are pulled out of it for an instant, there is an immersive, dreamlike place that is reached. When the initial loop is slowly replaced by a perfectly placed guitar drone it is nearly seamless, giving a brief respite to the ear before revealing the inherently raga-like details of the first part only in its more overt exploration in the second. A strange and singular sound world whose careful creation pays off in spades.

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