Monday, January 25, 2010

Tuluum Shimmering / Cheb Samdoun / German Shepherd / Zac Keiller - For Gunde Svan (Sunrise Acoustics, 2009)

Tuluum Shimmering - Mother Of Hummingbirds, The Brilliant Emerald

Here's a crazy idea: Put out a tape dedicated to a Nordic skier who competed in the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Here's a crazier idea: Do a whole series devoted to various skiers from said Olympics. Not sure who thought of this, but sir, I would like to shake your hand.

The great thing about a split on Sunrise is that even though the chances are that I'll only know 1 or 2 of the bands involved (in this case, only German Shepherd), I still fully expect to be won over by everyone involved. For Gunde Svan is no different. It's the first in a planned series and on this one, 4 artists gets 15 minutes each to speak their mind.

Tuluum Shimmering starts things out with a vaguely Asian sounding rhythm drone. Guitars and wooden blocks go back and forth, weaving a Zen like tapestry while chimes twinkle throughout. Cheb Samdoun goes almost 100% guitar, with melodic loops laid on top of a wall of fuzz that gets into a real solid groove, almost like some mellow psyche jam. That piece dies out and another scarier one emerges. The once dreamy fuzz has turned into a more ominous static. It's full of recycling feedback that sounds Skullflower made an easy listening record.

Flip the tape over and you're treated to the best guitar drone Wisconsin has to offer. German Shepherd makes sweet cloud static that is unmatched in its tranquility. His piece here is as blissful as ever, making the most beautiful un-guitar like sounds rise from his axe. The subtle soft silver sheets (alliteration ftw!) of delicate tones are fucking top notch. Finally, Zac Keiller closes the tape with his feathery Stars Of The Lid style chords. It's got some rainstick/stream sounds that skim through under the guitars a little bit, until the mood changes to something darker, like some sort of nightmare lullaby about buzzsaws made of marshmallows. I couldn't think of a better way to end a tape dedicated to Gunde Svan.

Like most things Sunrise, this little diddy is limited. Only 100 copies made. High quality pro printed folded inserts with plenty of liner notes plus a yellow tape with perhaps some screenprinting going on? Very nice indeed.

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