APATHIST! / CRETELLA+ROWDEN “split” C35 (Personal Archives)

It’s splitsville for Personal Archives: Apathist! (Alex Cunningham on violin, Chris Trull on guitar) and Cretella/Rowden (Chris Cretella [duh] on guitar, Zach Rowden [duh] on bass) drop some improv upon us, experimenting with the sonic limits of their various instruments. Both duos feature guitars. This is a very Personal Archives style release, let me just tell you that right now.

Cunningham is no stranger to the label, and he and Trull scratch strings and wiggle strings and vibrate strings in all manner of ways to concoct the most backwoods extraterrestrial warbling you may ever hear. They scrape and strangle their way through their half of the tape, never wavering from their intention of burrowing under your skin and becoming one with your circulatory system. Sound nefarious and parasitic? Only if you truly believe that both players are ACTUALLY extraterrestrials and not just playing them on the A-side. Apathist! my butt! More like Proactive-ithist!

Cretella and Rowden start off way noisier, with a full minute or so of strange electric and string noises. Then they drop the low end, and it’s a bassfest from there on out. Well, sort of but not really. While the bass takes on a fairly prominent role (which may be in contrast to side A’s bass-guitar-less-ness), the guitar fidgets and dances atop the deep tones, making like Sonny Sharrock fritzing out in a rainstorm. Gotta love that touch – and Cretella and Rowden bounce ideas off each other like each is playing the other’s axe and vice versa in close proximity. Probably how it was recorded.