[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Ever see a storm rolling in off the sea, the clouds unfurling, the wind rising and the rain beginning to fall? From atop our observation point we can take this entire panorama in thanks to Electric Sheets Over Them and their track “The Face That Forms a Dying Star”. Their submission to this split cassette is an ominous one with highly charged electronics dominating the field of sound; trying to corral what this artist does has not been an easy or particularly linear task. No, when the piece begins there’s already a tone which has been set that implies we’re headed into territory best left as it is. The untamed wilderness of experimentalism with all of it’s delightful facets and proclivities also contains within it this sort of auditory terrain, to reach an understanding of what Electric Sheets Over Them have done requires an inordinate amount of patience.
It is much like scaling the sheer face of a mountain using only your bare hands to hold on with. However, as previously noted, the view once you attain the summit is unparalleled. You can see all the way to Pluto from here if you have the right set of eyes; this composition is designed to attune your vision to that particular setting so don’t worry, those icy fields in space will be with you shortly.
By contrast, Goat-Legged Country God send us out into that storm before it makes landfall. With hints of melody, their garbled transmission from within the maelstrom is an alarming one. “King In Hibernation” could mean a lot of things but for them I suspect it may be in reference to Neptune himself lurking beneath the waves and directing the heavens through occult means to do his bidding. Whoever this artist is they understand the aspects of both timing and tempo to devastating effect, yes I know it comes out of your speakers sounding like a formless haze but therein lies the crux: you must allow this work to develop as one does film in a darkroom. Mind the chemical aftertaste you can get at times and in the dimly lit surroundings the details will emerge. There’s no need to rush any of this, this has a mind all it’s own; things will come of their own accord.
These heavy timbrel shifts serve to anchor one’s mind in the raging sea which somehow rises and falls without getting any of itself on deck. We’re inside a delicate balance of elemental forces here, any minor deviation could derail everything into meaningless feedback and repetitively dulling frequencies. Our captain has no intention of ever going home, that much is apparent. Here we will drift forever until the salt gnaws our bones into nothingness.
So if any of what I have described appeals to you, go ahead and investigate this pair of composers who have bequeathed us these sparkling examples of rancor. If they ever choose to collaborate with one another and combine their talents reality will quake. I’ll just be over there on the bow waiting with open ears… the signal has to come through eventually.