Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pine Smoke Lodge - From the Yellow (Existential Cloth, 2011)

Pine Smoke Lodge – From The Yellow
Existential Cloth 2011

Double cassette release here from Pine Smoke Lodge, which consists of Matt McKeever and Hillary Dickerson, originally from Portland, Maine. "Fallow Field" features some haunting ambient drones and textures that have a very lofty and light feeling. There is some repeating bubbly sound and chanting, droning vocals in the mix. The instrumental ambience sounds quite distant and quiet. "Vaadimme Kotiin" incorporates what sounds like some dissonant, droning strings with a repeating acoustic guitar chord being played. This repeats and drones for what I think is the entire song. "The War Dream" includes a real bass-y low tom sound playing a slow hypnotic rhythm. In the distance you can hear some drone-y strings, a little flute, and some kind of bells or the clanging of metal. Shakers join the tom’s rhythm, contributing to a subtle, “tribal” sound. Some vocal chants enter in the distance. The percussion is really in the forefront in a pretty heavy way. I really dig this song! "When the Power of the West Comes" has a few layers of droning strings in the forefront. The chords are slightly dissonant but also have a somewhat harmonious sound as well. "Yachay" sounds a little more spooky with some hissing static going, rumbling, bassy sounds. As the song progresses some feedback-y, high squeaking enters.

"Keeper of the Herds" consists of some dissonant and slightly distorting drones and an electric guitar slowly playing a gentle melody. The drones are kind of more in the forefront than the guitar. The guitar disappears and some more beautiful droning strings join the rest of the droning activity. At this point there is quite a sense of harmony building among the percussive jangling and electro-acoustic drones. "Ostyak" features some similar jangly percussion and spooky, ambient drones from strings, harmonica, rumbling bass, and high-pitched feedback sounds. "Floating the Smelting House" has some delayed/reverbed shakers, bells, miscellaneous tapping coupled with a very melancholic, down-tempo/almost free-form acoustic guitar playing. Very lofty, floaty kind of ambience created here.

On "Vernal Equinox" there’s more bells and a distant delayed vocal loop of just two notes repeating over and over. Then enters a rather groovy and rhythmic drum part that sounds like a low tom. I like how the loop and the drum part are not really in sync with each other. Eventually the loop and the drums fade out and we are left with the incessant shakers and bells and some kind of drone, maybe vocal, maybe looped. More live vocal chanting layers into the mix. In "Garuda" there’s some droning strings, a really bassy tom drum part that is slow, and what sounds like some back-up piano chords. Overall, throughout this release, there is this kind of free-form, improvisatory languidness, as far as the sense of time in the music is concerned. On "Dark Tunnels" the sounds are a bit more noisey, with some repetitive rattling, hissing, high feedback. In the far off distance I think I hear a clarinet playing in a slow, melodic, drone-y way.

2X Cassette for purchase: http://existentialclothrecordings.blogspot.com/

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