KYLE BOBBY DUNN / WAYNE ROBERT THOMAS - SPLIT
whited sepulchre 2018, edition of 200
"Dunn's first physical release since 2014's Infinite Sadness is a warm compressed sequel to that universally acclaimed 3xLP. still set adrift in a sea of infinite nostalgia and reflections of past selves but with an ascending lightness that gleams at the contours of Dunn's most personal and affecting work. 'The Searchers', named after the John Ford film, meditates on the way in which the imposing expansiveness of the American West worked upon the minds of its inhabitants who fought, lost and did terrible things to each other in their attempt to claim it. The West, like the slipstream of the course of events in a life, offers no resolution and shakes off any narrative that attempts to define it.
Thomas is an Indianapolis musician who composes drones like sculpting in wet cement, each movement turning slowly upwards while being locked into time and space. His first appearance on vinyl, Thomas's 'Voyevoda' utilizes processed electric guitar to fill all available space with lofty and spacious tones that lose nothing of their clarity as the float up to the rafters before settling back down to the nave. A stirring counterpoint Dunn's composition, keenly examines one's fidelity to unconquerable nostalgia.
Album art and layout by Dustin Bowen // Mastered by Jeremy Bible." - WHITED SEPULCHRE
for sure, DUNN's "the searchers" picks up right where INFINITE SADNESS left off --it may be well acclaimed, but to me it seems underappreciated, like a ripple in STARS OF THE LID's tectonic-shifting wake, though it deserves placement on the shelf alongside those revered SOTL's triple lps-- [an aside, first since INFINITE isn't entirely correct, as there was 2015's well-received at least around these parts one-off spontaneous late-night collaboration with DEVIN FREISEN aka BITTER FICTIONS and JAMES GODDARD, courtesy FRIESEN's SHAKING BOX] --anyway-- assuming you're familiar with SOTL, that's a great place to start for comparison along with WILLAMETTE, except DUNN stretches it out like taffy here, excelling at the twenty minute opus in a way that SOTL never did, both more gradually in a way that kinda brings to mind BASINSKI, but also more robustly, as there's a lot goin on here, some SEAN MCCANN-esque surrealistic angelic density approaching CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE's CATHEDRALE DE STRASBOURG perhaps
WAYNE ROBERT THOMAS is not a name i am familiar with - "Making slow moving compositions for guitar since 2012" says bandcamp, he has self released cds going back to 2014 says discogs - i haven't perused any yet, but if his side here is any indication then i expect to hear good things both going back through his catalog and moving forward, both with now-anticipated future releases and also good things by way of critical reception - ambient fiends should be all over this - the tidal ebb and flow here is perfect in a way i rarely find, it kinda recalls BRAINWORLDS' "heliopause" trading some kosmische for classical, or maybe KURMA's "sweet death" swapping morbid mortality for, i don't know, transcendental (?) mortality or some such - the moves THOMAS makes here are gloriously understated and absolutely stunning, again tapping SOTL but with more intimacy - some comparisons might include KYLE LANDSTRA and OXHERDING, and that phenomenal lathe cut WAKE courtesy KJ (which definitely deserves a proper pressing), finding some tangential synergy with AARON MARTIN's and OJERUM's latest offerings - don't sleep on this one like folks slept on MIDWIFE's LIKE AUTHOR which only just recently sold out at the source
BRIANNA KELLY / SYMPATHY PAIN - SPLIT
whited sepulchre 2018, edition of 100
"Cincinnati based Kelly crafts songs that attach themselves to a fleeting connection with the unseen world while rooting itself in a very real topography and landscape. A submission to a force that continues on with or without our attention / devotion. In her liturgical drone-pop songs Brianna weaves hypnotic drones and swells while recalling Julianna Barwick and Grouper in their sedated push and pull... held sway under the plodding gloom of Planning for Burial's linear heaviness. // Brianna also plays guitar and sings in the band Soften.
The third tape in Whited Sepulchre's split series, Brianna's floating melodies are tethered to this world by Sympathy Pain's aching slowgaze.
Birthed from the same SLC creative community that brought forth artists like Stag Hare, Braeyden Jae and Seven Feathers Rainwater, Skyler Hitchcox has been crafting trembling guitar-based drone-heavy compositions since the early-aughts under the name Silver Antlers. Sympathy Pain represents the truest and most distilled version of Skyler's emotional heft. Striking a balance between death-to-crescendocore post-rock, static-filled droning and skyward guitar lines, Skyler is joined on keys by Cult Leader drummer Casey Hansen, imbuing these compositions with living shadows and dead reflections." - WHITED SEPULCHRE
two more unknown-to-me's -- i dig KELLY's low-to-high fidelity emergence trick out of the gate - it only takes about a minute for the cement to dry around her being a leading outsider dream pop musicmaker and dreamer of the dream, hypnotic repetition wrapped in eddies of delay and reverb, as if inspired by an broken COCTEAU TWINS record, but there's more to KELLY's side as she elegantly blends styles and vibes - WINDY & CARL and early GROUPER are inescapable comparisons, and there's a lot of synergy with labelmate MIDWIFE (aka PSI LAB darling MADELINE JOHNSTON aka SISTER GROTTO), but other female vocal driven ambient (post?) pop artists come to mind, like EKIN FIL, RAAJMAHAL and CHRISTINE SHIELDS
regarding KELLY's vocals, i can't help but think of garage psych punk goddess BRIGID DAWSON of THEE OH SEES fame, to such extent it sometimes sounds like DAWSON's somehow breathy yet full-bodied cooing --particularly crystallized on PEANUT BUTTER OVEN's "kids in cars" wow what a song, anyway-- isolated and extrapolated from OH SEES and immersed in atmospheric soundscapes somewhere between previous decade GROUPER and the moodiest spaced out CHROMATICS sides, approximately
SYMPATHY PAIN's side is even more immersed, even more experientially embedded - there's an even more vivid slow motion cinematic vibe - again, there's some labelmate synergy with JOHNSTON by way of SISTER GROTTO's longform exaltations and meditations, but there's more anticipation and invested emotional input, if i may so stipulate, that earns attention and appreciation - perhaps a certain perfectionism with closed eyes and furrowed brow, painstakingly packaged and delivered for your enjoyment by way of rich ambient drone hypnosis, with some contemporary comparison to PSI LAB favorites in BRAEYDEN JAE and NATIONAL PARK SERVICE and GOOD NIGHT & GOOD MORNING's NARROWING TYPE