Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pimlo - Pray For Whoever Did This [Durable Stimuli]

Pimlo is the solo project of Ohio-based George Viebranz who also collaborates with John Elliott (Emeralds/Mist) as Revelation Blitz (killer name incidentally). The first thing I was struck with when I opened up this package is the oversized cover photo and an accompanying letter detailing the history of the statue adorning the cover and an account various acts of vandalism that have been perpetrated against it as well a picture of it during better days. It's rare I can be called a journalist, and I actually shouldn't be called journalist obviously, but I did the journalist-ish thing of politely inquiring to Mr. Viebranz "what the hell?" He filled me in:
I pass that kid every day on my way to work... I've been at my job for a little over a year, and when I started there, the kid was barely noticed, just a statue sitting there with a fishing pole. Then after a few months I noticed that his head was missing, obviously some shitty people up to shitty hijinx. Then a few days later that sign went up. I thought it was the fucking coolest thing. I'm not religious, but I thought "PRAY FOR WHOEVER DID THIS" was 10 times more "fuck you" than a sign that said "fuck whoever did this" would be. I took the picture on the cover sometime in March of [2009.] Every day I drove by and it seemed more and more awesome and powerful. So one day I took down the address and wrote a letter to the family that lived there. The inserted letter is what the mother of the family wrote back to me.

So there it is, mystery solved, a very cool image and a fascinating story to go along with it. Now let's get to the disc.
Clocking in at a half hour over six tracks, Pray For Whoever Did This starts out with "Calypso Hospital Nightgown." It's a very sparse and eerie track. I believe it's a wind instrument of some sort (flute most likely) but there could be bowed metal or something in here as well. Point is, Viebranz cranks up the chill factor with this. Spine tingling drones float limply in some serious haunted spirit fashion. There's some faucet-drip percussion that does the absolute minimum to make you feel warm and cozy. In the final minute the spirits erupt in angry hornet-style swarms of feedback. Risky way to start the record in such bleakness, especially when the advertised calypso is nowhere to be found. It does immediately establish the vibe of the first part of the record though. The excellently titled "It Was Anything Goes Until Everything Went" moves in a similarly minimal style. Based on a few pulsing tones the track crawls along until amassing a slough of high-pitched, restrained feedback shrieks. Viebranz manipulates the tones a little before bringing the track to a close. "For Diamond Shiners" is the first of a pair of short tracks in the middle of the album. Out of the previously barren soundscapes comes an echoing church organ providing a nice little interlude. "Coaxial Flutter" dives back into minimal electronics with a single tone manipulated over the course of the track. Neither of those tracks are that well developed but they're brief enough to stay their welcome. My favorite track on here is "Youth and Youngness" it's quite a bit longer and it's a multi-layered piece for organ. The piece moves leisurely spreading the subtle changes across the layers of organ. By the middle of the piece, it has taken on a rhythmic feel due to certain pulsing notes embedded with the drones. There may be flute here as well but it's buried way down in the mix. I like that the piece isn't totally smoothed out with reverb. There's reverb here, sure, but Viebranz retains the jagged texture of the organ's vibrations making for a complex overall timbre. The finale titled "The Once and Future Dingbat" makes up the last third of the release. Beginning with something like a flying saucer sound effect, Viebranz very slowly builds the piece. Working with a few precise sounds at first, about halfway through the piece expands into a much fuller arrangement of tones. There's a lot of movement between sounds though the piece maintains a pretty calm exterior. Mild noise and delay-pedal manipulation further color in the track. The piece ends up being a pretty vibrant, pulsing piece of work; ending the album in an opposite place that the album began, though coherently so. Actually, that one might be my favorite.
Still available from Durable Stimuli as far as I can tell. CD-r comes with full page insert in oversized envelope with large paste-on front and back covers.

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