So here we are. I have another awesome looking lathe cut from Pilgrim Talk on my hands; this one's a clear 33rpm 7incher, and it is very, very good. David Russell is an artist I have never encountered before and I am wondering why. Apparently, Architecture is a "greatest hits" of Russell's best loops as chosen by Nick Hoffman at Pilgrim Talk, reissuing some out of print stuff as well as new material. There are 11 tracks over the two sides and at least as many loops if not more.
This stuff is really wild and really replayable as well. I don't know what Russell used to create these (except that "Erie" is created from recordings from Lake Erie!) but I imagine its quite a range of materials. The scathing, blistering bluster of the unironically titled "Shriek!" scares the fuck out of you right as you drop the needle. It's a very unfriendly little scalawag. Flipping the switch to "Fiddler" Russell gets the train a-movin'. There's the implication that a fiddle is involved here but hell if I can figure out how. It sounds more like a heavily botched/manipulated trumpet melody to me, with a snare or something providing some sharp crackle and pops. "Snap Dragon" is a sexy telephone party gone haywire, with them all cradling each others' receivers and ringing excitedly. "Who Dunnit? Loop" is short, all murk and grind. "Jerk Loop" is one my favorites, a seriously fucked dancefloor stomper. Don't even know how to describe it, very playful, very groovy. Very cool. "Swagger Loop" keeps the energy high with a much more ominous point of view. Mechanical shuffling with a relentless whining sine melody. "L W P" is also a neat one and totally changes styles. It appears to be all piano at work here and its creates a ghostly but surprisingly uptempo little creepout to end the side on.
The second side allows its four tracks to stretch out just a tad more. "Tremor" is a hyper-ventilating little groove. It's the kind of stuff I imagine all the weirdos out in Western Mass and Antwerp dance to all night long. "Loop of Guilt" is another favorite. Totally not getting the name here as this one just makes me wanna jump and jive. It's an expertly crafted beat from various vocal samples and a few raw drum hits. It sounds like something a very adventurous party DJ might have spun back in the early 90s. The aforementioned "Erie" is another anomaly in a record full of them. Apparently created from recordings of Lake Erie, this thing seems way too rhythmic for that to be so. There's definitely a submerged feel but there's gotsta be some drums on here somewhere! Anyhow, "Slighted" returns to the vibe of "Swagger Loop" but develops it much further. Plenty of distortion, lots of sounds all sputtering for your attention. It really feels like its building to something but alas its just a loop (or more accurately a collage of them). This is a case where its definitely about the journey though.
Some seriously excellent stuff here, possibly my favorite Pilgrim Talk release. What I love about Russell's work here is that most of these are simply just a single loop, but he constructs them to have a lot of depth as well as to throw you off guard slightly so the loop never feels too familiar or repetitive. Great work.
Limited to 50 copies but happily still available. The artwork/packaging is very nice as is typical of Pilgrim Talk's output.