Sunday, January 18, 2015

BLACK WILLIAM/LITUUS
"Fissures/κλίση" C30 (Notice Recordings)



The artists on this split clearly started with similar materials and built two totally different things from them, and there's a conversation going on across the sides of the tape that's actually pretty cool. Definitely one of the better-matched splits I've heard in a while.

Both parties traffic in clinical ultra-minimal electronics. Black William's side starts with a couple of looping percussive synth notes that slowly shift in timbre over ten minutes or so until they are replaced by a deep ringing bell-like drone, which then circles around becoming increasingly oppressive and static before cutting off suddenly at the end of the side. There is no real sense of space in the recording, so despite the heaviness of the tones it doesn't sound like a physical presence so much as a direct transmission from the brain of some kind of analog circuit monster.

Lituus also brought along some percussive synthesizer loops for their side of the tape, this time forming a more recognizable riff which repeats for the duration of the track, with filters fading in and out and occasionally cutting off individual notes. The overall effect is sort of like listening to someone play the same level of Castlevania over and over at 1/10th speed as they wander in and out of the room, but the echoing reverb and clearer tonality make this feel substantially more organic and creepy than Side A. There's also a stubborn refusal to change things up that stands in contrast to Black William's monomaniacal point-A-to-point-B journey.



--Will Griscom

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