Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Single Helix – The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog [Screeching Snowflake]

Single Helix is the solo guise of Andreas Jonsson of Lanterns. This record is guitar-centric if not nearly all guitar which I’m thumbs up for, for sure.
“Deep Mountains of Vanity” eases the album into motion with slow burning guitar drones. The piece unfolds at a very gradual pace allowing sounds to shift or simmer while quietly welcoming new sounds to the fold. I’m pretty sure this is all guitar and Andreas does a hell of a job imitating a shrieking flute on the way out. “The Great Sylt Dyke” works well as a counterpart to the first track because it was the layered guitar thing going but in a totally different way. I’m actually quite impressed with this track because somehow Jonsson has made looped/layered guitar drones totally groovin’. The tracks skips along quickly with jaunty blips pushing the track forward and other craggier sounds resisting the rhythm a bit. It reminds me vaguely of the Bulbs album I reviewed a while back but mellower with less of a penchant to fuck with its own groove. “Even Colours and Sweet Perfume Will Eventually Fade” is the default epic here at 10 minutes. I’m pretty sure there’s bells or chimes on here in addition to guitar but if Jonsson made those sounds with a guitar, respek. This piece has more of a psychedelic float to it. There’s lots of weird bird-like sounds on here—almost like Andreas was dronin’ his heart out in the forest and someone luckily enough hit the red circle. The track wraps with Jonsson wandering out the forest for a bit of improv’d arpeggiating. “Fear of the Bark” jumps out as one of the better tracks here, though that’s coming from me and I love the sound of a pile of guitar tracks stacked on top of each other. Like a less frosty Gown, Jonsson walks the line between gentle guitar fuzz and freaking the fuck out. Particularly like the swooping guitar that comes in with a couple minutes to go and the frantic feedback in the final stretch. “Floodproof Drilling Machine” adds shakers to the mix against cascading guitar and maybe a harmonica? The briefest track, “Flying Snipes Will Soon Rest on Soft Grass Beds”, closes the record. It’s a fitting conclusion because Jonsson really hits the guitar drone mark better here than anywhere else on the record (that excludes the rad little “Sylt Dyke” track though). Waves of guitar ebb and flow, drift and float—sometimes they’re airy and sometimes they have a bit more gravity. The push and pull is the whole track, no climax or resolution or nothing and it’s beautiful.
The CD-r is limited to 75 and is still in print from Lanterns’ house label Screeching Snowflake so hit up Single Helix’s myspace to order. The CD-r comes in a textured cardboard foldout slipcase with rad artwork by Adam Harries printed on all sides. Worth checking out, for sure.

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