Monday, February 22, 2010

Archers by the Sea / Kawrelia Soul Collective - Split (Cabin Floor Esoterica CS)

Yowzers, February's almost over already and we're fast approaching the end of winter. Got to actually walk around in just a long sleeved shirt today, a beautiful thing. Maybe it's the extra vitamin D, but I felt extra motivated today to get some long (long, long) overdue reviews done. Had to start here too, not only cause of general levels of overdue I.O.U. status, but also cause Vincent (of Archers by the Sea) is doing a tape for yours truly's Wet Merchants, so a little extra word serves both right proper.

This split comes from the aptly titled Cabin Floor Esoterica label, who always makes a special effort to gather as much extraneous junk and pack it into the package as possible. Always nice to have a bit to explore while the tapes are rolling, and this one's got real life rocks from some swimming hole out in Atlantis. Good looks for sure.

Of course the main course is the sounds, and this one, in the spirit of any well conceived split, flows right on through some zones that, while not necessarily obvious bunk buddies, definitely serve each other in their placement across from one another at the coloring table. The first side, Vincent's, is a lo-fi folk rambler that hits some pretty molten realms. Caylet's got so many guises, and each project takes on a voice of it's own. Monks of the Balhill, Pistil Cosmos, "V", it's all the same guy but never the same guise. This project moves toward some Xian folk style meanderings that are blown to bits by the in-the-red recording levels, which makes it sound rather a lot like Caylet had climbed to the top of Baldhead Mountain to play a nice one for some eagle chicks before the walls fell and buried his guitar under about three feet of pebbles. Turns out that's not such a bad place for him to be. Really lets each tune slink into the group while keeping it sonically devoid of anything un-downer. Stark and grave, kinda reminds me of that Miles Devens tape or something. More singular a vibe though, and even a tad more buried, plus he's willing to stretch on FOREVER.

The flip offer sup mystery Russian/Finnish unit Kawrelia Soul Collective, who more or less go the route of all things zonkered by gathering all the kitchen utensils they can, flipping on some delay and having a go of it college daze style. Little guitar and vocal nowhere lines definitely keep this one on the verge of total destruction/conversion, but it's all ceremoniously goofy and welcome after the drenched badlands trampled on yonder tape side. There is a touch of truly nowhere melancholy here (the first "Ruin Song," but it has a bit too tough a time avoiding sounding like exactly what it is. I hear Love Cult and Win in Willows are both band members, as is Noise Under My Pillow and Cycle Hiccups, but even "Meow, Kitties," as adorable they may be, just doesn't have the same delicate dilapidation of the Godz own feline flounderings (I hear kitties love flounder, actually). Not that this side doesn't get into some delirious realms--especially when they go electric they're able to conjure up some mean mantra mumbles. Grip the tape for Archers by the Sea, flip it for potential jam-fried accompaniment. Limited to 50 and still available if you can believe it.

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