Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
“Secret Wind” C50
(Lily Tapes and Discs)




Languid. Mournful. Contemplative.  That’s the National Park Service way, and if you need a refresher course on what the NPS is capable of, you can check my utterly nature-obsessed review of the excellent ’97 Tracer on PSI LAB. I’m feeling similar feels on Secret Wind, but there’s a difference. We’re out of the woods here, I think, and into the spiritual malaise of suburbia. See cover photo above for all the mood prompting you need before beginning Secret Wind. Here NPS alternates between Kranky-esque instrumental slowcore and nocturnal ambience to stunning effect. The evening descends, and National Park Service descends upon us with it. More a band-esque affair than ’97 Tracer, the tape still moves deliberately, like if Explosions in the Sky decided to all lay in sleeping bags in the backyard and stare up at the stars while sort of playing. By the end of it the drummer and bassist are asleep, the latter still clutching his plugged-in instrument as it gently feeds back. The breeze blows softly, and barely anyone is awake to perceive it. It’s our secret.



--Ryan Masteller


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