Thursday, November 20, 2008

Uton – Attack of the Aether Sun [Housecraft]

Since all Housecraft items appear to be in a perpetual state of flying off the shelves I wanted to weigh in on least of one of the tapes I have that isn't sold out yet.
I know I covered this in my last review of Housecraft materials, but I'll do it once more, Housecraft is a label based in Gainesville that specializes in all sorts of euphoric drones and has really come into its own this year and as you can see people are noticing and buying up tapes about as fast as Jeffry Astin puts 'em out.
Astin reached across the Atlantic for Finnish project Uton which has been putting out releases for years on top labels. This tape is about a half hour, split between two side long tracks. The first side’s piece “The Aether Cosmic Sun (CS only version)” begins with astral buzz saws. This sound pretty much dominates with a few tones, possibly keyboards, trying to poke their faces through. This is given up on fairly quickly and everything goes the way of the fizzy, spiky drone. For as much relentless feedback and whatnot going on here it doesn’t feel that forceful. The noisiness is relatively diffuse which is probably why the title “The Aether Cosmic Sun” was bestowed upon it. Makes sense to me, though personally I think the track could benefit from a little gravity. The drone begins to breakdown a little toward the end letting a few previously buried sounds run free.
The flipside is the one that’s really interesting in my opinion. “Inner Mind Mutations (Mix)”, unlike the singular sound of the first side, moves through a couple different ideas throughout its course. Once again, a fitting title. The droniness of this side also contrasts greatly because it’s very busy, vibrant and active. There are weird vocal globules, sputtering electronic sounds and shiny, digital sounding pseudo-shaker noises. A much enjoyed flute-like keyboard arpeggio pops up briefly. Much of the sound fades, leaving an eerie space with effected acoustic guitar plucks and a mellow cyclone of various echoing frequencies. I don’t see the instruments listed here so I’m not sure what I’m hearing but there’s a seamless transition to (what sounds like) an autoharp/flute face off backed by minimal percussion. A cool tangent. A very electronically colored piano replaces it with a sparse half-melody. Before a pretty bit of reversed tones and springing toy keyboard sounds lead to legit acoustic piano playing with a new Monk-ish keyboard ditty but less sparse than the High Priest often played. And that’s all folks; a nice, varied but cohesive little side.
The art matches the sound of the tape well, with a kinda exploded Sloow Tape vibe. The j-card is double-sided and it comes with an insert with blue-purple ink on see-thru paper, all in a paint flecked case. A class act. There are 120 copies (2 or 3 times the typical run of HC releases) of this making it the Housecraft tape most likely to enter your collection, statistically speaking. It’s been out for a few months though, so there can’t be that many left. So don’t sleep if you’re interested. It’s cheap as always too.

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