Thursday, February 25, 2010

Caethua / Ancestral Diet - Split (Goaty Tapes CS)

Goaty Tapes is such a classy operation it's tough to figure out where to go with these releases. I got this one from Zully a bit back with the Banana Head tape and have been giving it a go recently, but everytime I throw it on I end up going back through the artwork for another looksie. Beautiful cut-out springtime feel to the cover, with this great die cut information thing and a paper bag "C" house print as well. Outrageous. Of course the tunes are tight too, with this one representing a split between Caethua (who is Clare Adrienne and sometimes Andy Neubauer) and Ancestral Diet, which is just Neubauer. I like a good split of course, and when they're as intimately linked as this it can make for a real nice flow, revealing things about both if only due to their proximity to one another.

Caethua gets side one, with "Surface Waters and Underground Seas" sounding more or less as it's title suggests. Loping little key lines pulsate onward here, while Klaus Schulze swirls enter and retreat like guppies to the yolk. A small feel here to be sure, and one that's undeniably cutesy as well, especially once the super quaint vocals come in. I usually don't care for this style, and it is by no means my favorite element here, but that's just me. She does a fine job of keeping it interesting and loose despite the words, with a hazy sort of feel that would fit well on your latest new folk songstress mix. The instrumental stuff is what I'm going back to though, especially when it redissolves into grit toward the end of the side.

Ancestral Diet's side, "Coming Back in Trace Amounts," is even grittier, though still with that hazy summer feel. Opening like distant cicadas over the mountain tops, string motions nauseate each other here with a tastefully sea-sick feel. Very slow, the side sits right still for a good stretch before slowly building into, you guessed it, an honest to god song! Weird. The thing is pretty compelling actually, with airy organ lines and bells buried in tape hiss and slight of hand fuzzies. The girl/boy duet is halfway to "I Got You Babe," but again, it never shows all of its cards at anyone point, remaining unexpected within its framework. Nice stuff, eerie and dark and cut off, like some hippie Gregorian miniature played in icy foothills. Sold out at the label, but check the usual places.