Exceptional drone/electronics and piano on discerning label Sacred Tapes
Callum Higgins and John Powell-Jones come together for a vinyl release of their newest exploration of ambient space and acoustic resonance on Sacred Tapes.
Kicking off 'No Gods, No Masters' is an organic ambient drone, beautifully accentuated with delayed plucked strings and overwhelming tape delay. Cut from the same cloth as avantbient masters Set Fire To Flames, this incorporates the juxtaposition of frazzled electronic blooms and atmospheric percussives (wooden strikes, cavernous echoes and hissing vactrols). Through the relatively subtle (albeit covertly menacing) introduction, this piece twists and turns into a fractured exporation of space, filling the near-field with churning industrious drone and the peripheries with sycopated saturated echoes and palpable impacts.
'Serpent' is a much more eerie affair, trading the distorted ambience of the previous offering for an insectile chattering creeping around some infrequent string plucks and plectrum scrapes. Never reaching the heights of growth as the previous piece, but offering a more varied sound palette highlights the skills present to create something with such restraint as to eschew melody, but developmental enough to form into a fully realised image.
Final piece and closing barrage 'River Of Sin' is in many ways a resolution of the previous offerings, winding from a top-heavy cosmic solar-flare squealing through shaped feedback and glassine echoes into a cataclysmic culmination of the resolute dissonance of the opening phrases to a flat-line closing squall.