SKITTISH ARM “The Outside Inflation”

Floridian weather is not this dour. You look up at cloudless skies, you smile. Yes, I happen to be in Florida, and although I’m far from Sarasota (Skittish Arm’s home base), I can’t imagine it being much different. We’re all on a huge peninsula, after all. (Homer Simpson calls it “America’s wang,” for whatever that’s worth.) There’s an ocean breeze on our coasts. We breathe it.

We Floridians do have a pretty dour reputation, I guess, as being America’s clown child babies, whose propensity for unconsidered acts of utter reactionary madness has inspired nation- and worldwide derision (see, for example, our old pal “Florida Man” on Twitter). Not totally undeserved, all that. Anyway, Skittish Arm perhaps internalizes that instead of the sunshine, a view of the world where it’s crumbling all around us and the interior of the singular person is all that’s left to grasp onto. And even that’s crumbling, as presented by the positively Basinski-esque disintegration of Skittish Arm’s sound sources. The press kit also mentions Eno and I also mention the Caretaker. That decay is beautiful, sad, and a complete logical next step. But the Sarasota producer isn’t content to wallow – embrace along with Skittish Arm the gentle path toward oblivion on tracks such as “Assembled Tenderness,” “Gleam of Peace,” and “Peaking Warmth.” There’s joy and freedom in letting go, in setting yourself apart, in approaching life from a vantage point where others are connection points in a vast network of life as it slowly becomes untenable on this planet.

Skittish Arm

--Ryan Masteller