Saturday, December 10, 2016

MONTE BURROWS
“The Concentration of Brown Owls”
C20 (Dinzu Artefacts)




Monte Burrows lives alone in a tiny studio apartment at the top of a run-down building for a reason. No other landlord would take such a reclusive weirdo who just happens to have an unhealthy owl fetish. You’re thinking, Ryan, why is it so weird that Monte Burrows would want to fill his life with figurines and carvings of owls? That’s not too weird. My mother-in-law likes owls. Yeah, but you see, it’s not the figurines and the carvings that gets ol’ Monte up in the morning (if he ever even goes to sleep, and there’s no evidence that I know of that he does). Monte Burrows actually fills his apartment with actual owls, hundreds of them, so that there’s no space uncovered that does not have a living, breathing, eating, shitting owl on it. The entirety of side A is the shut-in’s answer to nature doc, field recordings of ambient noise sounding like the claustrophobia of being alone in a room surrounded by the friction of wings and beaks. Probably smells terrible too. You can hear other birds outside the window with its drawn blinds, but they have no interest in anything going on inside.

We’re inside Monte’s head on side B, keys/strings/stringkeys darken any corners that still have light in them. Even with this mood pastiche and potential glimpse into the madness, it remains opaque, Monte’s thoughts closed off to us as weird bubbly blurps punctuate the strange atmosphere. It’s a nightmare, really. It’s like Eraserhead with owls and no lady in the radiator. The Eraserhead baby has been replaced by a thousand owls. Think of it as a thousand Eraserhead babies. Monte Burrows doesn’t see the owls, he sees the horror of others. He likes it – I think. He’s been locked in that apartment for a long time now. I think he’s taken on some owlish characteristics, like not blinking and swiveling his head all the way around. Eating mice. Other gross stuff. Good tape though.



--Ryan Masteller


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