Saturday, October 26, 2013

GRIPGEVEST & KLING "s/t" C38
(Hare Akedod)

"Gripgevest & Kling"; Another beautiful drone mind scape from the pitch dark deep thoughts bin.

Diverse in mood yet smooth in transition, fuzz guitar and West World synths play post-modern Middle-Eastern scale drug blues.

At this cassette's best, "Gripgevest & Kling" underplay but don't underwhelm. All tracks are live improvisations as the cassette liner notes state. These two musicians are clearly listening to one another while responding to one another, not an easy task. This probably explains why chord progressions are drawn out, echoed and gradually transform.

Still, the spontaneity of experimentation is present. Levels of volume and whammy octave changes surprise although don't overstimulate. Ideas are presented and then edited and adjusted in real time giving the tape a loose feel. The word "Jam session" is appropriate even though this isn't rock/roll music. It's better for relaxing and staring at your living room fish tank aquarium.

The tape breaks down when one of the musicians is ONLY listening while the other is playing and vice versa. It's fair to say the tape crescendos and recedes, but moments of amp input fuzz and looped keyboard melodies can break mood or just not jibe well. At worst, the tape can sound uninspired and casual while wanting to sound serious. It comes off as heavy handed.

Some guitar playing on this suggests an amateur knowledge of scale. But unlike less talented improvisors, all the right notes are playing, just with a small range that does not showcase the guitar's full ability. At times it sounds like one of the two guitarists only has one string on their guitar. That lesser range is less satisfying but not distracting to the overall mood.

At times, the majestic, progressive noise sounds and limited guitar don't seem to pair up well with folkish flute. Moments of melodic and thematic unity are more often than not on the tape, but at the lower points the call-and-response can feel strained.

These guys don't mind sounding creepy, trippy, tranquil or menacing. It's an ambitious tape and a great piece of cassette craft, but not an essential part of your collection. Good effort overall and great liner note graphic design.

http://hareakedod.tumblr.com/

-- Jack Turnbull

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