Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grant Evans - Tactical Gamelan (HIV115)

Keep your head above the murk with Skywalker!  Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Tactical Gamelan, the first post Nova Scotian Arms release for Grant Evans on Hooker Vision, is equally ethereal, spiritual, heavy, foreboding and ominous.  Whether he creates majestic paeans in Quiet Evenings, with wife Rachel Evans (Motion Sickness of Time Travel), or beautiful tapestries of sound in Nova Scotian Arms, the ideas and execution make Grant's musical output analogous to top shelf nugs: very rare and thus highly valuable.  Some of his latest output including Cult Spectrum, NSA; Winds over Silmäterä, NSA; and Sacred Drift illustrates this nicely.  Where as side A's warmth shimmers like trichomes on your best bud, one is ensconced in hash oil and murky tones on the flip.  According to the description of the tape, Grant accomplishes this with tape loops and electronics.  

Blissful warmth slowly rises from the meandering noise.  Side A - more similar in sound to Winds over Silmäterä -  is the lighter of the two sides, and one of my favorite tracks this year.  Heavy tones appear sporadically, but they do not impede the ascent of the serene sound, which grows in intensity before turning introspective towards the end.  Side B by comparison is heavy and foreboding as murky tones attempt to communicate through the tape hiss and layers of sound - more like Cult Spectrum.  Even with these darker sounds, through all of the hiss, one can detect uplifting tones.  Sometimes they reside so deep in the mix as to be nearly undetectable, like a flickering candle.  Grant's wonderful ability at crafting sound is conspicuous on side B as murky tones become cohesive, growing louder, until ebullient, warm sounds appear from the deluge of suffocating tones.  The manner in which he juxtaposes these different elements is perfect.

Another glistening nug from the fecund Hooker Vision tree.  Tactical Gamelan - black cassette shells with designs, and awesome artwork - is nearing oop status.  Thus, secure your copy at Experimedia.

peace to you, friends :)