Thursday, February 21, 2013

Urkas - Desert Shapes (Skell 010)





the eternal light for this trip through an endless corridor, cloaked in mystery and brooding reverberations.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 


When you travel deep enough into the cauldron of the desert, water and provisions in short supply, maybe apparitions appear; or just maybe, one will be fortunate enough to take this trip.  I exhort one to climb in; however, it would be prudent to record your steps - all the doors on this journey are uniform, but lead to different environs.  Desert Shapes, the third release from Mike Griffin (Parashi, Burnt Hills, Skell) and Russ Alderson (Xanthocephalus), is full of impenetrable, abstract passages of noise.  There are a few different moods running through this nug.  It's not entirely eviscerating sound, though there is plenty of that gold illuminating the desert sky  There are quiet passages that are just as charged as the heavier sections.  Unpredictable and intriguing in every sense, these highly active pieces are comprised of bass, modular synth and various percussion.  Also, today is the birthday of Russ!  For the listeners, don't blow out the candles just yet.  The flickering illumination from the candles will provide a guide through these dense, omnipotent sound structures.

Vague fragments of conversation slowly disintegrate, transforming into a sea of charged matter, pulsing with some type of mutant energy. - the intensity of sound and time is proportional.  This first track has so many moving parts.  It is always becoming something different, maturing in your presence.  Unexpectedly, the intensity mitigates, subtly changing, becoming more quiet.  The middle of this track is where the sound transitions from smoldering to uneasy stillness. Pulsing beams of sound are outlined in reverberating light, and the mod synth is quite beautiful - my favorite part of the track and tape.  Eerie loops  are caked in noise, somewhat obfuscated by the moving parts, when a rumbling drone casts a veil over various transmissions.   All one can do is flail helplessly, as the dense amalgamation of noise whisks one away.  There are no predictable routes in this climate.  The flip is just as engaging.  It commences with mutant, buzzing transmissions that animate the body, all while the beast lurks in the miasma - a foreboding climate of preternatural influences.  Soon, an incipient wall of noise sees the listener crawling in the muck among shrill wails and other sources.  Everything leads to the ashram of Skell, where solace is found among the clang and clasp of percussion. 

Desert Shapes, another iteration in the wonderful catalog of Skell, once again corroborates my thoughts that Mike Griffin is operating one of the best noise labels.  Released in an edition of 50 and pro-dubbed, this tape features the beautiful artwork of Julie Watts.  There is no soundclip available; however, some of the best things in life are best experienced with virgin ears... Jump In and secure this tape via two of the greats: Skell or Flipped Out

peace and love, friends :)          

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