Thursday, June 17, 2010

Michael T. Bullock & Andrew Lafkas - Ceremonies To Breathe Upon (Winds Measure, 2010)

Michael T. Bullock & Andrew Lafkas - Ceremonies To Breathe Upon (excerpt)

Bullock from Boston and Lafkas from I don't know where team up for some contrabass dueling on Ceremonies To Breathe Upon and you reap the benefits. Yay, right?

There's just one 43 minute track and it's a fuckin doozy. It opens with a near static drone, breathing in and out in a way that almost makes it hard to tell you're listening to strings. It's an organic sound that completely empties my brain. Not in a meditative or transcendent way, but more like a numbing stress free kind of way. I just disappear. Become totally vacant. I never notice the water bubbling footsteps or the shift to a more melancholy tone. All of the nuanced subtleties in harmonics heading in a Stars Of The Lid direction, they just pass me by.

I come to about halfway in when shit starts getting eerie. Similar drones as to before but with a harsher edge. Swirling tones that make me think I'm being surrounded by phantoms. Hauntingly chill stuff, unnerving in a surprisingly pleasant way. I feel like I'm hitting puberty all over again, my emotions going crazy and I'm never really sure what I'm supposed to be feeling. All I know is that the finale is creepy as shit.

Ceremonies is a pretty killer record that hits all the right spots. Ambient neo-classical noise, sparse jazz, lush drone, it's all here and it sounds fucking great. Limited to 300 copies and packaged up in a lavish letterpressed sleeve and you got yourself a goddamn winner.

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