UTICA "Self Titled" C53 (Life Like)

This is one hell of a release to take mid-afternoon naps in the shade to! Just imagine yourself a stoned catfish, lazily hunting crawdads along a mildly murky stretch of the Mississippi River floor, those pesky mudclouds sporadically rolling along, masking the occasional errant pebble’s excited travel downstream, those gentle knocks on the nose waking you up just enough to see a tentative antenna searching out some water-striders. Carpe diem! In a decade or two, that li’l crayguy’s crawgrandchildren’ll be feasting on your decaying remains, so nosh while the sloshing’s good!

Ann Arbor’s UTICA manage to churn up a deceptively simple-yet-blissful haze of New Age ambiance along the shallow riverbanks of droning minimalism. With blurry, bassy piano arpeggios that wax & wane in & out of focus (think mid-tempo parts of La Monte Young’s “The Well-Tuned Piano”) just below major-key feedback and e-bowed guitar meanderings, it’s easy to get lost in trying to track just where the synths end and the strings start, but why bother? 98% of this long, slow-burner is consonantly euphoric, with only a faint, sporadic minor-key visitation that passes quickly without leaving any moody aftertaste. Pretty brilliant stuff!


--Jacob An Kittenplan