Saturday, September 8, 2007

"Despairing Summer / American Ulterior" (Iatrogenesis)

Though not credited to any artist, this cassette is a collage of field recordings assembled by Iatrogenesis label head, Gordon Ashworth (Oscillating Innards, Caen). The source material is collected from tape recordings made by Ashworth and Jon Borges (Pedestrian Deposit, Emaciator) on their last US tour together. Almost anything recognizable from the original tapes, however, has been obscured by layers of processing, most noticeably a heavy, smeary reverb unit. Side A opens with a melancholy looping melody over a distant hiss and muted conversations. The whole tape has a very dreamlike feel, a half-remembered travelogue. Despite the relatively calm feel throughout, the music moves rather quickly through different areas of sound. And while it could be described as "ambient," the music is not without teeth. In fact, at times it gets rather hairy and there's enough crackle and crunch to disrupt any meditative vibe. The inside of the j-card depicts a loving tribute to the scene-- cut up photographs of friends and noise dudes from all over the country, presumably taken during the tour. It warms the heart, truly.