Monday, May 5, 2008

Alistair Crosbie – Sad Faces of the Moon [Peasant Magik]

The review portion of this blog isn’t dead just deceptively dormant (I stole that line from the Jyrk dudes). Anyhow, it’s been ages since I’ve reviewed anything and I feel like a douchebag. But the good news is I have this killer tape to share with you.
I don’t know anything about Alistair Crosbie other than my friend may have seen him live at some point, so I let his tape do the talking. Lucky for me, it sounds real nice. The cassette is split evenly with two 14 minutes halves but the trick is the A-side is all vocal while the flip is all keyboard. The two sides still feel very unified which is a nice; fluidity is a good characteristic. Especially when you’re dealing in drones, which appears to be Crosbie’s favorite way to play.
“Side A” despite being all voice sounds insanely alien. I mean, I know people have effects and whatnot in this day and age, but it’s hard to believe the sounds on here originally came from a human. The side is really chilly and placid, reminiscent of the more sedate numbers of Double Leopards when they were still operating. There are some rhythmic-ish loops but they’re buried about six feet under so you’re really only hearing their ghosts. I feel like I’m on a phantom beach letting waves wash over me. Mostly the water is gentle but occasionally I’ll get splashed in the face by a shot of high pitched fuzz. Crosbie made a smart gesture putting “moon” in the title, because this tape is all moonlight and mist.
“Side B” is a bit warmer while maintaining continuity with the first track. It almost sounds as if there is an arpeggio going on but the track is so zoned out it’s probably not worth trying to figure out. A little way in though some other less droney sounds fade in. I’m having trouble identifying what they are exactly which is always a good sign. To me it sounds like a swirling but rhythmic bout of feedback being looped. But other times I think I’m hearing clipped up words or samples so who knows. The piece slumbers along until a pleasant comedown. I’m having trouble pinpointing a specific reference point for the track so I’ll just say it maintains an abstract rhythmic pulse without relinquishing any lunar droniness whatsoever.
The packaging is classy, top-notch style as is expected when you’re dealing with Peasant Magik merchandise. A clear tape with a printed label comes with a 4 panel color, fold-out j-card. It’s topped off with a tracing paper-like slip that goes over the cover and the tape with title, info and the Peasant Magik logo on the side so you can find it on your shelf with ease. Real slick. Limited to 100 but it looks like Peasant Magik still has a few copies so grab one before they are gone, because when Summer rolls around you are gonna be longing for that winter chill.

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