Sunday, June 20, 2010

Interstates Etc. - Textures [Fairchild Tapes]

I went into this completely cold; all I knew was that Brandon Greter (edit: NOT Neal), who runs the Dream Root label, is behind Interstates Etc.
How pleased I was when I first listened though. I don't know exactly what Neal uses (some sort of mix of guitar, keyboard and electronics is my guess) but he's pretty adept at squiggly, energetic sound structures. A short intro piece familiarizes the listener to the pallet and from there the next piece is in a sort of haze, but not the kind you associate with dreamy music. It may just be a product of the quiet dub but everything's sort of a blur, weird pulses and the occasional drone all get whipped up into an ephemeral smear. In the second half of the tune Greter brings out a sound effects generator I remember playing with as a kid which breaks up the cascading whir. The next track manipulates a short rhythmic loop through all sorts of permutations with bits of electronic squelch curling around the edges. The track vacillates seamlessly between soft drones and crunchy rhythms while that effects generator makes an adroit comeback. Near the end, the track flips out into bee-boopery hell.
The second side starts out like a groaning, slo-mo feral dream. Weird synth-ish textures are squirted all over as the seasick tumult looms across cymbal fragments. The second is even deeper down the drone hole. Lo-fi pitch manipulation and loops make for a sonic equivalent of a lobotomized patient trying to escape his institution. All stumbles, slobber, and cloudy-headed stupor. The piece catches a second wind of sorts with a literally wind-like wandering drone that brightens things up incrementally. The last piece is less than a minute or so but it's the weirdest of the bunch (shards of strange beats, a broken down carnival tune; a touch like Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase stuff) prompting me to hope future Interstates follow this path further.
There's some interesting stuff on this tape, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing this project develop.
I'm pretty sure this is sold-out but Interstates appears to be pretty active so you should definitely have a chance to get learned. (Edit: apparently the tape is sold-out from the artist but is still "kinda" available from Fairchild Tapes)

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