Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fabric / Sparkling Wide Pressure - Late Clothes / Blue Doorways (Stunned Records CS)

Whoa, just posted that last review and saw that it's September already. Heh, a day late I guess. Still, life approacheth... Given the encroaching cold though (nights definitely are past that mid-summer cooking temp) this one seemed like a good fit despite it's coming from Portland, where I doubt leaves fall at any point during the year--maybe I'm wrong. Either way, this is another one in the new Stunned batch--scratch that, the last batch, a new one already dropped like two weeks after the last one. Regardless it's newish, and this split is one of the best from that recent one, teaming up unknown-to-me Matthew Mullane and his Fabric project with well-known-to-me Frank Baugh and his Sparkling Wide Pressure. Super tag team I might add.

First side belongs to Fabric, which seems like an electronic project pointed towards thick ambient techno structures. First piece, "Long Coat, A Robe," is total open cavern drift, spaced out lasers shooting eternal beams into the dark and lighting galaxies far beyond our own color viewing sensibilities. "And a Borrowed Shirt" takes it down past the night for a second, laying you by some seaside cliff at night, with only blacks and thick blues intermingling with the dark greens of shrubs around you. Beautiful stuff, melodic without even approaching cheesy electro melody ambient stuff. "Wrapped in Silver Rags"--I'm sensing a story in these titles here--goes into some open tuning strum that maintains all the color around the notes that the electronic stuff does, building a bristling drip-world of color that glides as much as it punctures. Everything across these six tracks is as deeply magical and carefully treated as the rest, a delicate balance between sheer sonic energy and guided precision.

The Sparkling Wide Pressure side offers, by contrast, three pieces, each demonstrating the same sense of precision and color but exploring entirely different sound worlds in the process. Equally carefully conceived as the Fabric side, the bit opens with gentle guitar chords loping down some forgotten river, tiny little electronic lights lining the shore, guides through the night. Frank's latest stuff has been stellar, and this seems to be in line with the consistently impressive doings the guy's partaking in of late. Spaced out but comfortable as hell, just settle in and let the wash go over you. Calls to mind a similar secret world as the moon does on its reddest nights, bright and lonely hovering over the hills. Slowly, as the sun goes down and the river widens, the space between shore and waterway merge under feint moonlit indicators, briefly lifting the folding planes a couple inches up, turning it around, and redirecting it toward the stars. Total beauty, great match-up, all around killer times of course. Maybe fall ain't so gloomy after all...

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