Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zebulon - Webolo (Vanishing Hour Revival CS)

Here's another one received as part of that first Vanishing Hour batch, and like the Antigua Ibis it falls into a weird little category all its own, combining field recordings with odd instrumental interludes and electric current for a pastiche of subterranean sounds.

First side opens with some pastor, whose proclamations are quickly derailed in the name of contact mic futzing and choral drift while some barber gets the old electric razor out beneath and has at. Muddles about a while while guitar comes in and presents a few chords over some bird clatter, but none of it goes anywhere at all, instead opting to sort of ruminate it over a bit. Keeping an eye on it while it hardens and becomes brittle. A nice go of it, totally allows itself to just wander the grounds and take in the scenery until it comes to some nice looking lap pool speckled with potted plants around its exterior, so you dive right in and lo and behold there's some tiny humpback whale living down there, no longer than your fore arm I'd say, and it's sort of scoping you out for awhile, taking in your impressive size and gorging itself on plankton, till you've had enough and leap out, wet as hell, and head right for the fair on the other side of the field. Tough to get there though, so attention starts to wander and you settle in on some workers banging away at some concrete and chattering their chatter while they're at it. A real strange land no doubt, but one that's a pleasure to dabble in.

Flip explores much the same ideals, if in a slightly more focused--or at least diverse--landscape. Little metallic clatters rebound it into being before it mellows down a notch and starts to hover just over the crisply cut grass. Still that same suburban surreality though, with voices of red-haired wives tending garden or men in "Kiss the Cook" aprons flipping burgers while the chilluns huff paint behind the swingset. Only still spot seems to be where the cat's lying, on a carpet letting the sun fall over him and dreaming of mice. It's these moments that really keep it lively too, and somehow the movement from convoluted sensory overload to simple statements of quiet beauty flow nicely, giving it a chance to get you somewhere beyond mere residence. Really cool little tape, interesting straight through, though apparently there are only two left at the label HQ so you might want to move in for the kill quick. Otherwise Tomentosa and, apparently, Discriminate Music have copies.

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