Friday, March 31, 2017

BUS GAS “Live On Leave Us” C27
(Spring Break Tapes)




On “Top Ten Funerals,” Bus Gas slather deliberate coats of synthesizer tones and various other loops on top of each other until the entire fourteen-minute composition is a viscous iridescent lava flow more suitable for drastic landscape change (if the landscape was composed of marshmallow) than overt introspective heart-tugging. I get it – thinking literally about the concept of “Top Ten Funerals” is a silly thing. First, I haven’t even been to ten funerals (thank god), so I can only back away and chuckle to myself a little bit when considering a list exists somewhere for someone who has a) been to enough funerals to be able to even make a list and b) has the constancy of character (I guess) to rank one funeral ahead of another for whatever reason. I can’t even fathom the idea. It’s funny to me. You may fail to see the comedy in the track, but it’s there.

I doubt the collective known as Bus Gas set out to make me smile like this, but the Nebraska drone crew sure does plaster a grin all over my face regardless. Divorcing myself from the absurdity of the concept of “Top Ten Funerals,” it’s easy to get utterly lost in the majestic waves of pure tone that almost literally (I mean, I’m picturing this music liquefying and spilling out of my speakers, to be sure) wash over me, fully encasing me in their physicality. It’s almost amniotic within the secure environment of this music, but it’s filled with enough tension in its chord progressions to serve as a reminder that we’re out here in the real world, sort of. “Infinity Cymbals” continues unbroken from “Top Ten Funerals,” but there’s nary a percussive instrument to be sensed. Guitar is the main event here, and its majestic presence is underscored by a continued multitude of synthesizer flourishes, less thick, sure, but no less gloriously iridescent. More intensely focused on disruptive behavior than on ambient therapy? Absolutely. Still, Bus Gas’s sonic magma flows from fissures in conscious reality, and once it is upon you, there is no escaping its density. Perhaps life is lived better that way. For me, I’m still smiling upon this marshmallow bedrock, content to let Bus Gas do its thing and terraform the whole shebang right in front of me, and over me, and even through me.




--Ryan Masteller

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