CONSTELLATION RECORDS 24TH August 2018
This opens with wonderful microtonal sounds, like a vibrating ceramic plate, allied to a wobbly bass thrub. As things move on, we get classic electronic Krautrock. Pure and simple melodies, familiar synthesised sounds, patterned backdrops are nicely decorated with solos riding above. The shapes (never the sounds) of dripping water, of flowing water, make organic shapes, contrasting with synthetic industrial electronics. Dial-up modem sounds (remember them?) are used as percussive elements in an increasingly intricate mix.
This album creates a dream state, drawing in real and manufactured sounds in tightly-woven patterns. Despite the electronics, this feels as organic as a slab of river-worn rock or a wind in the trees. Jay Crocker and Shawn Dicey conjure up these sounds from Nova Scotia and perhaps the environment helps. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been listening to a lot of Stockhausen lately and the big sounds at the start recall his multi-channel tape experiments, while others mix the atmospheres of nature with the deeper trance elements of post-dance electronics or just go all-electronic, throwing out dark shapes and feelings. Out in the right mindset by the opener, Crocker and Dicey then abandon the electronic classical world for their own strange imagined place. Like Stockhausen, Crocker has decided conventional scores won’t do and has devised his own systems. Also, he plays with chance and with machines designed to add random elements to inspire his own creativity. Tempos bend and flex, twitchy noises add jittery percussive effects and synths burble and burp. It’s not unlike running a temperature and the bending of reality as dreams enter waking life.
If you like entering a fugue-like headspace and experiencing altered reality without the fuss of pharmaceuticals or contracting a heavy virus, this is the album for you.