Sunday, July 24, 2011

Remnants - Vision Being [Imminent Frequencies]

Got a lovely-looking noise tape from Remnants to discuss from the Imminent Frequencies label. I dig the whole visual vibe of this thing; top notch inspiration, design and execution.
This is the only release I've heard from Remnants but based on the sounds on display here, it's a quite a fitting name. The feel of the tape is noisy but at a distance. Either it was recorded in a large space or more likely there are a few reverb pedals in the effects chain. Short, constant delay drives the side as waves of feedback ebb, flow and crash. Apparently, the only sound sources on the tape were a pair of contact mics. The aim of the tape is interesting because despite the basis in noise electronics it's also trying for some of that resonant temple drone feel (that goal is confirmed by the artwork.)
The first side is a good deal stronger than the second. It begins with copious amounts of decayed, blurry feedback, but a little ways in the piece settles into a deeper, darker place. The feedback crust is wiped away somewhat, and vocals and other noises are able to come through. Vocals create a nice melody sounding almost like an incredibly bassy pipe organ. I'm definitely feeling this section of the tape; it sounds much richer and infinitely more expansive. The tape begins to rupture towards the end; stuttering, crackling in danger of getting torn from the face of the earth.
I think in seem some ways all the reverb does a disservice to the second side because it smooths out the dynamics so much. You can do a lot of interesting things with contact mics but all the sounds get kind of flattened out here. Furthermore, the first side doesn't really have much of an arc to me. A side doesn't have to have an arc necessarily but on the other hand it doesn't really hit that deep drone sweet spot either.
Imminent Frequencies has been trucking along quite well it seems dropping tapes from the likes of famous "C" names: C. Spencer Yeh, Chapels and an upcoming one from Collapsed Arc that should be good. Based on the high-quality production value and the variety of sounds emanating from it, IF could be a label to watch.

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