“Oracles & Chambers” C30
(Spring Break Tapes)

I only ever read books based on how their covers look, because that’s the only real way you can tell if anything’s going to be any good or not. Right? No? Hm, seems like I’m in the minority on that one. I guess if you don’t put it in such drastic either/or terms, maybe some books whose covers look cool turn out to be good, but there’s a pretty steep dropoff after that initial small percentage. I mean, there are some bangin’ covers in this Amazon top list for March – I’m going to read all of them!

I kid, really. I bring this up because Avery Gabbiano, on his new tape Oracles & Chambers, pretty much puts it all right there on the cover, and in the titles of the two sidelong tracks. “Sacred Incubation Chamber” sounds exactly like what my brain would conjure if I was immersed in a sensory deprivation tank. And if you imagine I’d conjure vast cerulean peacefulness upon an abandoned shore, you’d be absolutely right. Featuring oceanic found sound and gently burbling synths, “Sacred Incubation Chamber” is the auditory equivalent of floating into eternity.

“Oracle of Osaka” is equally tranquil, and equally built upon peaceful synth and found sound. Here something a bit more mysterious, a bit more spiritual is awakened. In accordance with the track’s title, Gabbiano’s sound sculpture approximates the voice of god or the universe through a trancelike meditation, and through it the listener can attain a state of nirvana. Wait, did I say “attain,” as if Gabbiano’s music is transcendent? Well, maybe it doesn’t go that far, but it sure does try, and it gets you pretty far along the road.

So what do you think of the cover of this tape? Look good? Titles sound like something you’d be interested in? Did my humble review make your ears salivate just a little bit? I hope so. Because they should. Oracles & Chambers is a nicely demarcated signpost along the ambient/drone continuum, and it’s worth your while to pop it in and ascend.

--Ryan Masteller