Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fossils from the Sun vs. Parashi/Xanthocephalus (Skell 008)

thanks to budreviews for the kief

Here is a collection of sonic burners that will leave an indelible imprint on your head. Puff the celestial dust and prepare for liftoff.  Skell is doing it right on this cassette, a split featuring the duo of Fossils From the Sun and Parashi on one side; and Brooklyn's Xanthocephalus on the flip.  Fossils From the Sun is Ray Hare, who also plays in Century Plants and Burnt Hills.   Ray's release on Tape Drift, Forever Came Today, is a heavy guitar album that has a Steven R. Smith vibe.  His release on Digitalis, Pop Shoot Pop, is a wonderful amalgamation of melodic guitar, synth and voice.  Parashi is Mike Griffin, the main man at Skell and also a member of Burnt Hills.  Mike's tapes on Stunned are dense, considered pieces of electronic music.  His use of space and texture are very important to the Parashi sound.  Recently, Mike teamed up with Retrograde Tapes to release the Silenus cassette.  Xanthocephalus is Brooklyn's Russ Aldertone, who has releases on Kendra Steiner Editions and Ghetto Naturalist Series.  

Fossils From the Sun vs. Parashi uses guitar, synth, voice and percussive sounds to address the heavens.  One of the first things I noticed about their track, "Dark Matter", is the use of space and the multitude of sounds.  Mike and Ray seem to know just when and where to add an element and nothing is predictable.  The level of detail on this side is impressive; therefore, this tape rewards the active listener.  The initial minutes of this side had me thinking of Black Dice circa Beaches and Canyons. Emerging from below, hiss and detailed sounds appear, echoing and reflecting.  The sound creates an ominous feeling that  hovers over the listener throughout,  Soon, the sound becomes haunting, pulsing with energy.  This track whets the appetite.  It would be great to hear more from this duo in the future.     

The flip features "COYE", from Xanthocephalus.  COYE is a sprawling, shifting mass of heavy sounds.  Crunchy and full of moving parts, Russ Aldertone uses bass, field recordings and harsh noise. It starts off crunchy and heavy, no respite for the listener, until the noise noticeably becomes softer, but no less harsh.  This is music for stereo - two channels of blown out sounds!  Though it is difficult to discern from the heavy mass of noise, the attentive listener can hear other layered elements struggling to breath.  Halfway through, it becomes something entirely different.  The crunch replaced by furious sounds, which i believe are coming from the bass.  Field recordings are interspersed throughout, which are juxtaposed nicely with the heaving mass of sound.  Later in the track, the field recordings become more audible, as the rumble and hiss shares the tableau.  A real nice journey on this side.  

Two odyssey's in sound meant to be listened to loudly, on the stereo, by the active listener.  Buy this tape, which is accompanied by the beautiful artwork that is becoming commonplace on Skell releases, from Skell or Flipped Out.  

Peace, my friends.