Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vanilla Host - Folded at the Face (Housecraft CS)

Got the new batch of Housecraft tapes in recently and it's a real doozy, though I gotta say it's a shame that the Jeffry Astin/Josh Burke split is as limited as it is--only 33 copies I think. It's a lovely little guy. And all the artwork on these new ones is NEXT LEVEL--especially that four-way split. Up and out on all of them. Was gonna cover the Astin/Burke split but I couldn't find any pictures of it online and the camera's back home, so I opted to go with this one, which of course is no disappointment either.

Actually a mail collabo between Astin and Dan of Excitebike/Uneven Universe/Body Morph, etc. fame, this number seems to veer toward the Excitebike side of things in terms of sheer basement cruise control zonkers. Real down and out, the first side presents "Exiter," which I assume references a total exodus of mind, body and soul. Pretty eerie scrapy, drone noise stuff that actually does a nice job of swaying between the two styles, one minute going deep into Michigan sub-aquatics and the next riding on the Xiphiidae train toward lower earth. Hope on the ganjala my friend, and trust me, you can see all the tops of the gates from way down here. Crunched and churned, singed just enough that the hairs start to smell while the razor glitches out from water damage. Nice air traffic control worshiping material, radio waves on the out and rain-drenched cloud beasts on the in.

The second side, "Flat Earth Variation," meshes the two styles even better than the first I'd say, finding a nice balance between the off kilter crustacean evocations of Jeff's stuff with the spurted brick and coat hanger chiseling of Dan. Dentist drills running on high and shoved, drill bit down, into the soil, clearing out any worms or aphids that might be a hindrance to its downward journey. Round the bend and the tape, bent toward disaster, peels itself apart in the name of crumbled cloisters of distress. Sounds like some sorrowful cow about to be sent through the hacker, the metallics not so much representing the shredding mechanism itself but the internal workings of the meat as it processes these alien soundscapes. Some beautiful bowed saxophone notes or something too, gives a kind of minor melody distress call, beached whale fever. It's a real creeper and perhaps even more together than the first side in its singular and empty outlook. A super interesting mash-up, and one that will hopefully continue as the two both bring such different elements into the mix, not so much meeting halfway as laying it all out and watching how they interact. And boy do they.

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