Thursday, June 4, 2009

Black Eagle Child - Seeds That Sprout in Summer (Stunned Records CS)

Ah yes, the new Stunned batch already descendeth and it's (as per usual) a scorcher to the nth degree. Figured I'd start off with this one, whose package is a fine representative of this new, gestural depiction theme. Have a few things by this guy as well slated for review, including a split from Roll Over Rover with Sean McCann.

Whereas most of the stuff I've heard from the project is quite twinkly and light, this sounds out with some darker guitar work on "The Last Day of Spring." Bouncing punctuations drift out among a haze of tone that's right there with a lot of the earthier drone stuff coming out now a days. For this stuff with me, the proof is always in how the artist uses the elongated time structures to create a whole greater than the sum of its distinct parts, and Black Eagle Child's Michael Jantz has a way with sitting on his palette and subtly shifting its contents. Nothing feels forced whatsoever here which is always a nice way to go, just drifting outward in shrouds of purple mist whose warm contents sinuously weave themselves into quite the etherworld. There's a certain dementia here, with delayed beats seeping into one another atop a lazy keyboard line that sounds dead as leaves crunching underfoot. Real spaced out stuff here, great for hammock hangouts and no-noggin activities. "Invented Lives" encroaches slowly from behind the blanket to present some finger-picked guitar that flows delicately and with nary a care in the world.

The B-side is split between three tracks, opening with the super eerie "Outside the House Behind the Sky," a nice title considering the sense of dangerous wonder conjured here. Jangling guitar and feedback mix with ominous, clouds rolling over the hills feel. Some real depth presented here in terms of mood, subtle and emotive without being stodgy. Even some bowed strings here too me thinks, which only increases the Appalachian cloud beast vibe here. "Made-Up Name" gets even more hollow, though Jantz akways manages to keep things a bit delicate and unpronounced. Still, some pretty empty drone work here that brings about the demise of the album's total placidity, humming along with righteous continuity before "Grass Swaddle" etches out its own version of an oasis, glittering oil slicks over hot yellow sands. Totally beautiful stuff, total winner yet again from Stunned.

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