Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Michael Vallera - Divisions of the Source (LDE 019)

Michael Vallera, one half of Cleared, is a musician and visual artist from Chicago.  In the past few years, Michael's solo work has appeared on great labels, such as Reverb Worship and Catholic Tapes. His latest work on Los Discos Enfantasmes (LDE), Division of the Source, is twenty-three minute journey of slowly forming and shifting ambient wonders.  It was not until I read Brad Rose's label interview with Jean-Sébastien Truchy, in Foxy Digitalis, that I decided to delve into the LDE world.  A wonderful label with a distinct aesthetic, not only is LDE releasing alluring music, they also have some of the best packaging in the cassette biz.  LDE tapes come with die-cut front covers and great artwork.

  Recorded over a series of late nights during Summer 2011 in Chicago, Division of the Source is a tape that I often allow to repeat.  The first track has the feeling of an oppressive summer night - the instruments create a drone which has beautiful depth and subtle changes.  The next track commences with gorgeous piano notes, soon accompanied by percussive sounds - almost like the sound of steam rushing through a grate.  The combination of sounds creates an environment of anticipation, as the piano struggles to make a space for its mournful notes.  The flip side starts off with a buzzing drone that pulses forward and back, coming in to focus and quickly going out - slowly changing in night heat.  The last track feels like an undulating electronic movement, sounds moving into the foreground and then retreating in the ambient glow.

I was fortunate to procure this tape from Discriminate.  Discriminate has an excellent selection of LDE titles, including the David Kristian tape, which I highly recommend.  LDE is making heads turn with their distinct approach to creating art - check them out today!

Michael Vallera - Bedroom Painting (from Division of the Source (LDE 019)) by losdiscosenfantasmes