Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gonzalez & Steenkiste - Stuffed With the Down of the Eider (Eiderdown Records)

 Two of the kings of Anfang, my bros Glen and Ernesto, require a crystal-covered queen.  Peace and much love to my kindred spirits, Humboldt Relief :)

Two brothers from Sylvester Anfang ii, Glen and Ernesto, temporarily leave the sanctuary of Anfang and take a pilgrimage to the ashram of Steenkiste and Gonzalez, where their buzzing hymns hover gently over the countryside and engender healing.  This is the first recorded output of Glen Steenkiste (Hellvete; Sylvester Anfang ii) and Ernesto Gonzalez (Bear Bones, Lay Low; Sylvester Anfang ii) as a duo.  And the results on this c40, from the burgeoning Eiderdown label, should serve to whet the appetite of the listener.  Glen and Ernesto recorded this tape on 4-track, in 2011, using harmonium, violin, acoustic guitar, korg ms 10, electric tampura, bells and birds.

The first track, 'An Evening at Sloow's', which features Father Sloow on analog synth, produces some of the heaviest sounds on the tape.  Bowed symbols and bells transmit energy to the opaque night.  Slowly the shroud is eviscerated as the buzzing and heaving instruments create an encompassing wall of sound.  Over the course of the track, the intense sound hovers with subtle changes along the way.  The mood and sound is heavy.  This is music to which one must devote their attention - a blazing hash rocket, flying straight for your head.

The heavy nature of the first track is contrasted to the bucolic, reverberating strings of 'Front Porch Rumbling'.  The feel here reminds me of the Hellvete release on Sloow Tapes, 'Een Duvelse Zak Is Nooit Gevuld'.  As the smoke clears, Glen and Ernesto play acoustic guitar and banjo, which produces a serene effect.

The flip presents the side-long track, my favorite of the tape, 'Paradise' - a hymn to locating and studying the breath.  The sound here is achieved through an amalgamation of harmonium, electric tampura, violin and birds.  It creates a feeling of stillness, as the beautiful sounds elevate the breath from its malaise.  One might be tempted to think that the sound is uniform, but a careful listen reveals the sound suddenly becoming intense and then mellowing.

 Glen and Ernesto create sounds that are faithful to the journey of life.  This beautiful nug on Eiderdown is accompanied by two color double-sided screen-printed J-cards courtesy of Broken Press with eye popping visuals created by Max Clotfelter.  Heavy vibes like this disappear from the distros quickly.  Procure a copy by contacting Eiderdown Records.

peace to you, friends :)