Friday, July 27, 2007

Bonecloud – XI:XI [Buried Valley]

Over the course of 12 releases, Buried Valley has become one of the most quietly consistent labels around. It seems like every three months or so BV will put out a pair of awesome tapes and rock everyone’s world. Earlier in the year saw the release of one by labelhead Roy Tatum’s Changeling project and a dreamy cassette by Siren (a.k.a. Bethany of Pocahaunted). Anyway, my point is Buried Valley is one hell of a label and way way too modest for its own good. Each release is limited to only 50 copies, give or take a few, which is a total shame considering the great talents of all parties involved. I guess it just means you really gotta be on the ball to grab one; sonic darwinism I tells ya. Anyway, this specific release features Irish gods of sound, Bonecloud. The tape is titled XI:XI though I’m not exactly sure why. There is 9 minutes on each side so maybe they were originally thinking of titling it “IX:IX” and then looked at it upside down and liked “XI:XI” better. Who knows, Roman numerals are weird. Anyway, I have a standing order to snatch up anything Bonecloud do because it is guaranteed to be brilliant and XI:XI is no exception.
In the words of a friend “short tapes always bum me out”. I really wish this tape was a lot longer (Bonecloud c20? Nah, gimme a Bonecloud c120), but wishing never did anyone any good. The good news about this tape is the music is top notch and very much not a bummer outer and if yr player has a auto-reverse/repeat function then you can easily turn this sucker into a c60 or c100 or c[as long as you want]. There are two pieces here, but split into three. There is a short two minute track that opens up the tape and a 17ish minute jam split onto both sides. The first is lead by a flute sounding instrument over an uneasy loop of low frequencies and as it strolls along it somehow it gets ten-times more menacing without really changing a whole lot from when it started. I don’t know man, it’s playing tricks on my mind or something. The second jam is classic Bonecloud, and by classic Bonecloud, I mean it sounds like field recordings of ancient civilizations resonating in an underwater cavern. I’m not one for hyperboles—okay, I kind of am—but that is exactly what they sound like to me. I don’t really know what these two guys use to make the sounds they do, their voices and probably a few other things shot through a gazillion reverb pedals. (Seeing them live would be quite a landmark human experience I bet.) What I do know is that this track is teeming with life. Millions of tiny audio microbes splitting and reproducing and moving and dying. It’s a constant whirlpool of lovely echoes and beautiful, brief melodic flutters causing you to lose track of time and yr thoughts. A direct line from the heavens to yr conscious. Instant sonic/mental bliss that takes place somewhere just outside of space and time. A sunbeam shining on yr face in the dead of winter. Bonecloud is probably the cure for cancer just nobody has tried it yet. (What did I tell you about them hyperboles?) This is absolute ecstasy on a compact cassette.
For all my whining about its length I’ve already got more than enough mileage on this baby to deem it six bucks well spent, so please don’t let that deter you. Like I said earlier this tape is limited to 50 copies and is already sold out at source. So hurry and grab it elsewhere. If you don’t end up being part of the lucky 50, don’t fret, Bonecloud still has an upcoming tape on Twonicorn as well as a double album on Leaf Trail that I can barely contain my excitement about. Keep yr ears out for those, you won't want to miss 'em.

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