“Fricatives” C30
(The Gertrude Tapes)

The undeniable magic of a covered porch shielding one from gale and deluge is hard to describe with words, but Ned Milligan does one hell of a job here pinning it down with his newest release, “Fricatives”, a document that balances crude, fourth-wall-broken field recordings of a falling sky with the organic, minimalist drone, decay, and natural distortions of an impressive* wind chime’s ululations bouncing off of at least one outside wall, concrete floor**, and sheltering ceiling.

Tape hiss gives way to gust, pitter-patter to sheets of rain, birdsong to concentrated dribble, all of this detail competing and bolstering the claims of percussive, weatherproof metal tubes a-shivering, concertedly, out L-O-U-D.  As a person who experiences very little rainfall and is not afforded the space to clang a behemoth wind chime from my own balcony***, Ned Milligan has captured and distilled a time/place/mood I can’t just pick up at the corner store, and I’m truly grateful.

Play this tape during a drought on a sunny afternoon with the volume cranked up and get absolutely transported to a rural porch in Maine while it’s raining cats & dogs!


—Jacob An Kittenplan

*this thing’s gotta be like three feet tall, at least!
**assuming here, as there’s a glorious natural reverb to all of this
***without cramped neighborhood repercussions