Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SON OF EARTH / BARN OWL
"Bootleg Split" C60 (Gilded Throne)

This tape here is why I love Western Massachusetts, as much for the circumstances surrounding it's creation as for the music contained on it. Son of Earth and Barn Owl, two Pioneer Valley trios just played a show at Byron Coley's Ecstatic Yod space a few weeks ago to celebrate their tenth anniversaries as bands and that is where I got this split tape. The best part though is that it is a "bootleg" of two live recordings from 2007 created specifically for and distributed (for free I might add) at said show by Mike Barrett. All of the band members were as surprised as I was to get this wonderful gift. Feel the love.

Son of Earth is made up of Matt Krefting, Aaron Rosenblum and John Shaw and they have a couple of LPs to their name. Their side sounds like people moving furniture around a room, in the best way possible. Utilizing contact mics, record and tape players, minimal organ, etc... these boys create heaviness in the quietest way possible and the infrequency of their performances and recordings only adds to their specialness. Pick up their new release on Amish/Required Wreckers, it's great!

Barn Owl (not the SF band) is made up of Chris Cooper, Andy Crespo and Matt Weston. Comparatively, they are sonically denser, using a guitar, kettle drum and electric bass to create squirmy free improv. Cooper is an immensely inventive guitarist, playing his axe on the floor with metal files and cutlery and using household electronic devices to activate wonderful interference sounds on it's pickups. He plays surrounded by effects pedals, all of which he knows exactly what to do with and uses for merely seconds at a time. Weston provides what might be considered the "lead voice", making his timpani sing, transcending the percussive. Crespo fills in all the holes, playing cross-legged on the floor, hands powdered for maximum agility. This band has only released one 3" cd to my knowledge which is a real surprise considering their prodigious talent and the member's pedigree.

The tape comes in a silver spray-painted plastic case, with a b/w insert detailing the recording dates. Maybe you can find a copy by writing to Barrett at belltonesuicide@gmail.com or at the Guilded Throne myspace (myspace.com/gildedthronerecordings).