CHRISTENSEN & CHLAPEK - UNKNOWN PRESSURES
dismal niche 2017, edition of ?
"Zelienople's Christensen and Neatly Knotted / Nevada Greene's Chlapek team up for a sensuous long form improvisation in four parts on their first outing together for Dismal Niche. A casual survey of existential dread and nocturnal anxiety, the album is deeply nuanced in a way many ambient and drone albums aren't. There is the deep repose many look for in this type of music - the analog synth swells breath deeply and the high-end celestial moon vibes flutter, dancing freely over the top of it all, but there is also a sort of nervous tick. While laconic and illusory guitar lines nonchalantly trace shadowy wisps of figures with a kind of eerie jazz-like fluidity they slightly stutter here and there while a quick minor chord piano plunk and an emerging synth arpeggio keep you alert to the things moving just out of sight in the dark." - DISMAL NICHE
"survey of existential dread and nocturnal anxiety" - a damn good line that goes a long way not only in tag-lining this tape but CHRISTENSEN's music in general, and not just ZELIENOPLE and his own solo output (more prolific than many folks might be aware, with four digital only titles racked up this year already), but also particularly TWELLS & CHRISTENSEN's COASTS [RETRO #1] which i fortuitously recently featured in my inaugural RETROSPECTION series last month - UNKNOWN PRESSURES seems to pick up right where COASTS left off, picking up some of the pieces in the hazy smoldering aftermath of "burning bridges together"
UNKNOWN PRESSURES is a slow burning intravenous drip of trickling free range post blues guitar and spiritualized synth improvisation like a smoked out STEVEN R. SMITH covers DEAD MAN meets RILEY's A RAINBOW IN CURVED AIR and AMBIENT 4 - heady sonic meditations a la RANDALL MCCLELLAN with some classic CHRISTENSEN minimal post rock propulsion like some cosmic rebirth of the cool where IN A SILENT WAY meets late period TALK TALK immersed in a SCHULZE berlin school stargazing construct -- this is some brilliantly understated new weird american drone explorations into the gauzy dark matter fabric of kosmische, some of the best that my ears have heard since aforementioned all time favorite COASTS - sure there's plenty of direct line comparison and overlap, but PRESSURES settles more into said kosmische fabric, forgoing some of the dense and intense swirling energy of COASTS in favor of some heavily zoned EXPO 70 esque deep space drift with familiar ZELIENOPLE flavors folded in, finding apt comparison to recent tapes from folks like MATTHEW BARLOW, BLUE COMMUNION: ISAM and KYLE LANDSTRA -- here's another year end top ten lock, best get it while you can