I.G.M (Ian G McColm) “Inside Aquila” C45
(Found Tapes)

The veiny textured packaging, devoid of any identifying information on the spine of the case or the cassette itself, first made me think this was some sort of tape-as-art commentary, the white package/tape acting as a statement about anonymity or something. But, tucked below the case, I found a tiny slip of paper, with a faintly typewritten message identifying this as “Inside Aquila,” the solo project of an Ian G. McColm (who also performs in the duo Nagual), and the second cassette of Virginia tape label Found Tapes.

Aquila, I’ve learned, is a constellation found in the north sky- by pure coincidence I was looking at photographs of space when I popped this into my cassette deck and no other tape could’ve set a better mood. The solo processed guitar on here conjures up some deep, dubbed out cosmic tones- not exactly ambient. There’s a feeling of throbbing, pulsing, forward momentum across these 5 tracks. While some of the more chiming parts of the tracks were obviously conjured from a guitar, I was surprised to find there were no synthesizers used on this album. McColm manages to create some unexpected loops using just a six string, especially during the opening swells of the opening track “For Hidden Moons,” with its alien squelches buried beneath a crushing wall of feedback.

This tape is definitely not for those with a short attention span. I, for one, got pretty sucked into it, barely conscious to a point of the shifting patterns until the side ended. This is definitely utility music to an extent, a great tape to throw on to zone out or to put yourself in a sort of mental stasis. Bonus points for the enigmatic, handpainted presentation of this intelligent drone release.


-- Tim Johnson