Monday, December 16, 2013

Hellvete / Jake Blanchard - Split Cassette (Torcas006)

purps and drones. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Even before proceeding to the music, the artwork is among the best that I have witnessed this year. For those of you unfamiliar with the artwork and designs of Jake Blanchard - proprietor of Tor Press - I highly recommend perusing his personal webpage. Jake is responsible for the artwork on Mike Gangloff's Popular Hollow release as well as Pelt's Effigy among other releases. The artwork kind of corresponds to the disquiet-instilled drones that characterize the first part of 'Due Penance' - omnipresent vibrations. The split cassette featuring Hellvete - Glen Steenkiste - and Jake Blanchard, on Tor Press, exhibits fine attributes of each artist while also highlighting facets not yet heard in their repertoire.

 Hellvete's tranquil passages of cascading sonic light - 'Haardstaar VII' - on side A balances the palpable anguish and dread that ominously permeates the listener wave after wave in side B's 'Due Penance'. Hellvete's side is comprised of three distinct tracks. The opening track, 'Winterwind', is comprised of minimal drone and percussion. Near the middle, a transition occurs in which the listener is infused with concentrated reverberating energy. Delicate notes echo through the soul towards the end. 'Haardstaar VII' is the radiant sonic constellation that shimmers in the head of the listener. To trace these layered undulating waves with the breath is an exercise in awareness. Sustained drones garner energy and subtly shift prior to returning to its original state. Glen ends side A with delicately plucked banjo and percussion. Jake's music on the flipside fills me with alacrity regarding future releases. After listening to this side many times, I get the feeling that Jake's two releases from 2013 are only the beginning. The first track, 'Call Forth', is quite lovely and different from the foreboding and stellar Archaic Practices. Buoyant and dusty strings are contained within a passage of opaque ambient sound that shifts throughout the duration. The aforementioned 'Due Penance' is the final track on Jake's side. After the first section, there is a perceptible shift as the drones become more intense until reaching its apex and descending. The track turns plaintive and hazy toward the end.  

If you're into splits or the these artists, then this tape will fit nicely in your collection. Released in a limited edition of 75 pro-dubbed tapes, the last few copies are available directly from Tor Press or through Norman Records.  

peace and love, friends :)