Friday, February 9, 2018

Music Review:
Chen I Pitcher I Van Nort
"One History of Troy"
(attenuation circuit)

"One History of Troy" begins with clanking around like pots and pans, bottles and cans.    This turns into acoustic guitar strums with a slow whistle in the background and breeze, like some kind of old western.    This turns into a decent amount of drumming with wild strings in the background and that initial sound of tumbleweed blowing around now sounds like a stampede of cowboys on horses are riding into town.    There are also these little pieces of sound which sound like a very quickly changing radio station.

Acoustic guitar strums return and there is this rhythm within it to end out the first song, which was really quite the journey.    We are back to the acoustic guitar strums, other such strings are in place as well and it just has this deeper sound to it now as if it is being transmitted from a cave.    A pounding sense of percussion brings about the scrapes and rush of sound which is somewhere between feedback and static.    Such energetic gentle beats, such delicate guitar strings purposefully placed. 

One of the first things you will hopefully take away when first listening to this album is that some of these notes are so intricate in the sense that they have this pattern to them that feels somewhat normal.   At the same time, there are other notes (and sounds) which exist along with them and do not share the same structure; they are more a vision born of chaos.    There can be fits of what sound like bells but also could just be lead pipes banging against each other or something of a similar material.

The third song begins with people talking to each other, a secret conversation I imagine and I've always kind of wanted to sit amongst a crowd of people and hit record on an app on my phone and see what comes of it.  Is that wrong?  Is that voyeuristic nature not inside all of us?   This feedback type of ringing comes through with the words and then a somewhat harsher tone which almost sounds like a saxophone but as I read the credits on Bandcamp I think this is the clarinet.   It also has this fairly Twilight Zone feel to it and who among us has not felt like we were in that show at some point while out in society?

What I once again believe to be that clarinet pushes out notes in a somewhat harsh manner while this thunderous bass trails from the distance.    This particular song feels as if it could end here but instead comes back with these primal blasts and it builds into something that crosses the line between being in a sci-fi realm and out in the jungle, in nature.   Glass bottles are also in play here ala Jay Peele. 

With the acoustic guitar notes and strums, other strings bring way to what sounds like a dialtone and then that feedback comes back in as well.   You must recognize that these acoustic guitar notes maintain their way throughout much of this album.    It's this solemn, quiet reminder of what you otherwise might hear as being less easy on the ears.    The music is just as much sci-fi/horror movie in its delivery as it is this droning, calming ambient feel.    Some banging and scrapes come out during "Northern White Pine" and I almost feel like it has this stretching quality to it I can't put my finger on.

Acute strings come out in distant spaces.    An acoustic guitar rattles.    A slight form of jingle-jangles before this song comes to an end as well.   The last song is the longest.   There is this carnival/circus type of sound to open up this last song before the acoustic guitar comes in with the dark string drones.   There is this suspenseful aura to this song now, as the strings somewhat sneak out from within the abyss.    About five minutes into this piece it just gets really dark and grinding.    Tones then come out which feel like a piano but are likely just higher pitched on the acoustic guitar.

Frantic strings and that still rumbling in the background as if a storm is off in the distance.   It's as if everything on this album has built to this one moment and past the seven minute marker, eight minutes into it now, and it just all keeps on growing, soon to explode.    By the end it sounds as if someone is singing while voices are also talking and it just takes you to this weird place where you feel like a planet should have been destroyed but rather it's more like we just awoke from some dream.

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