Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reuben Son - Glowing Departure (Private Chronology, 2009)

Reuben Son - B.1

It's becoming more and more apparent: Boston is one of, if not the best place for experimental music. It's about quality, not quantity. Sure, New York and San Francisco have throngs of artists living there, but in terms of the good/bad ratio? Boston's got this shit hands down. Add Reuben Son to the pile of 100% Boston quality.

Reuben's new to the scene, debut tape released on his debut label. Glowing Departure: "Three improvisations for tape on guitar." Dude knows how to push my buttons.

The A side is one 26 minute piece that spends most of its time hiding in your grandparents' attic. Dusty and hazy, barely there guitar plucks with an ethereal drone pressing underneath, made up of both Reuben's tape work for the song and the (presumably purposeful) inescapable tape hiss from your own copy. The piece is so thick you can see light beams shining through it, yet it's delicate enough that the slightest movement would cause an avalanche of disintegration.

But about 3/4 of the way through, the pace picks up and shit gets foreboding, like getting caught in a river and you just fucking know that there's a waterfall coming up. No matter, enjoy the ride 'cause this river is goddamn beautiful and you're fucking floating in it. OOOOOH my fucking god you're already falling down the waterfall. How did you not see it or hear it coming? It just fucking appeared and now you're falling to your death. But WOW. It's so gorgeous. It envelops you and rains chaos upon your head. Just you and the deafening water. And it lasts forrrrevvvverrrrrrr.

Click. Tape's over. Breath. Compose yourself. Flip it over.

The B side is just as outstanding as its A counterpart, though broken up into 2 tracks. The first one is super wobbly, plenty of tape fuckery going on, not too much guitar at first, then lots of droning e-bowed strings and singing bowls. The final piece is all guitar, all acoustic, like the beginning of the A side (sans drone) and like Neil Young doing a classical guitar version of the Dead Man Soundtrack.

So that's how Reuben Son does it. Fucking skydives into the scene with this killer tape and is just like, "Hey guys what's up." My recommendation? 1: Don't fuck with him. 2: Do nothing but stare at the Private Chronology website until he puts something else out.