Thursday, October 10, 2013

Twilight of the Century - Hibernation (TD62)

Cataract -------> Hibernation.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Hibernation is comprised of some of the most dark, potent and spacious psych tracks that I've listened to this year.  There should be no surprise that Eric Hardiman (Tape Drift, Rambutan, Century Plants, Burnt Hills and more) is one of the artists at the controls. Eric's collaborations and side-projects match the quality of his solo releases - something which should not be assumed with every artist.  Last year we were blessed with Lesser Halogens, the team of Eric and Mike Griffin; and a single-sided Century Plants lp.  Hibernation, on Tape Drift, transports one into some of the zones occupied by Lesser Halogens, yet is something entirely unique. Commencing as a one-off collaboration in 2008 between Century Plants and Rise Set Twilight, this single session documents the first available recordings from the project.  Twilight of the Century is comprised of Eric, Ray Hare (Century Plants), Mike Bullock, and Linda Aubry Bullock.

  I love recordings that possess an ominous aura.  When one listens, shrouded by murkiness of night and the enveloping haze, the frequencies manifest clandestinely.  At times, the bass, guitar, electronics and vocals are volatile and strident; the listener besieged by menacing, interminable waves and particles of sonic energy - all good things with this type of music.  Yet, in other instances the tape mimics certain facets of hibernation - metabolic suppression -  via icy, airy minimalism.  One mustn't forget the scorching psych of Hibernation III.   Altogether, Hibernation is the type of music that floats stealthily, waiting patiently for the right moment to pervade one's head.  And, once it has breached the perimeter, well, hold on tightly!

Furtive synth bubbles and moves sinuously in an infertile climate in the beginning of 'Hibernation I'.  Ray's vocals sound so removed and spine-tingling that they must be from another dimension.  His voice is a prodigious part of Century Plants and it shines here as well.  As electronics swirl, sonic misfires and approaching resonance merge to imbue the atmosphere with apprehension.  Guitar and doom-laden riffs threaten to annihilate.  Shortly, these elements are synthesized with vocals and electronics.  Churning synth and tangential signals abound before moving into a minimal state in 'Hibernation II'.  Opaque sheets of threatening noise hover viscerally.  Prior to the end, which is populated with nice synth, signals twinkle and an unsettling drone ensues.  The flip starts out with a total zoner, 'Hibernation III', that touches on early Expo '70 recordings on Kill Shaman.  In the final track, the treated vocals of Linda and Ray are cloaked in eternal haze and circulating transmissions.  Slowly, a wall of sound is formed and then pervaded by shifting currents.  Before long, Ray's voice bellows in head, producing endless echoing waves.   

Hibernation goes from strength to strength- an outstanding tape!  For fans of dark and atmospheric experimental music, this is not to be missed.  The artwork, by Myste French of Stunned Records,  is incredible.  Lately, there have been many instances of beautiful artwork in the experimental genre - have you seen the artwork for Tipow on Worn Habit?  Stuff like Hibernation is usually produced in a limited quantity.  Extend some love to Tape Drift by purchasing directly.  

peace and love, friends :)