Sunday, March 28, 2010

Padna - There are so many fish in heaven, Pt. IV (Tape Drift CD-R)

Nat Hawks' releases on Stunned this past year have been super swell, so I was psyched to see that Eric had managed to corral a Padna release for the Tape Drift imprint. This little disc contains only one track, but at 45 minutes it's a real opus of sorts, moving through zones in a totally insular, cryogenic defreezing logic.

The setup is basically this: a few years back, Hawks recorded the first "There are so many fish in heaven" track which, apparently, was little more than a guitar/e-bow number. Found a scratched copy later that he dug so he reworked it and released it is numero dos. Next thing you know the guy's so scratch happy (who does he think he is, Flava Flav?!) that he went ahead and cratched that one, reworked it, released it, and then dood it again for this one. So basically this is a reworking of a reworking of a reworking of an original, which means by now he pretty much has this tactic down pat. Whew.

So what's it sound like? Well, there certainly are scratches, but the thing moves so many spheres that it's tough to pin down any real angle here. It opens with a vocal thing that splatters about as it's diced into pieces, but that soon diverges for lusher, more atmospheric areas. I'm not sure exactly how he's getting these scratches but they work wonderfully, taking each sound and splitting it from its source and destination moment by moment, a tactic which has the effect of placing things quickly in the foreground, background, and foreground again, like some prismatic mind warp of sonic inversion. In this way, each sound is coerced to reveal previously deciphered lines that Hawks manages with a deft and tender touch. Never sounds nearly as glitched out as it could really, but rather sways to and fro in psychedelic glimmerings. Real beautiful stuff that goes and goes, guided by little other than the snap, crackle, pop of the scratches. Amazing how these scratches manage to reveal new things about the piece, sometimes cutting it into fantastically spare blurts and bristles while sometimes playing vibrato and just humming about atop. When it ends, escaping with a blathered drum beat and vocal, its absence is all to clear. A real neat one for sure, and likely still available.

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