allergenic saliva

Loris “The Cat From Cat Hill” Another Timbre

I’m not sure if a glass of bourbon is the best way to relax after a run. But I’ll give it a shot. The simplicity of sitting on a chair… the company to slow burn and astringency of charred oak. The ice is melting delicately, and it’s muggy as hell outside right now. I haven’t been hearing as many roman candles and Black Cats as I had hoped this time of year. Madison is too fucking polite sometimes, locked up in a fixed gear land of hippie fuzz tone and good vibrations, mang. Where’s the cordite blooms, the rivers of frat boy blood, the roving bands of date rape thugs in Sponge Bob Square Pants costumes? Oh, yeah, they’re back home with ma and pa, drinking Bud lite, and reading the back of Clean and Clear bottles. And instead I’m listening to Loris’s “The Cat from Cat Hill,” another disc from the UK based Another Timbre records… and it’s polite too, but in a good way, like that ingratiating new friend that never out stays his welcome and never drinks all of your beer but still tells good jokes anyway… even if this friend at first sounds like carpenter ants eating through raw bone, pincers flashing in the dark. Loris has been a highlight for me lately, sitting uneasily amongst less subtle recordings by bands with pentagrams featured in their logos. Loris is made up of Patrick Farmer, Sarah Hughes and Daniel Jones on assorted electronic and acoustic instruments too lengthy to list in polite company, but here’s some anyway: zither, piano, natural objects, turntable, and tapes. I don’t know any of them but they seem like cool people (actually I have no idea), and they create some very interesting music. Sustained tones spring up after the initial thorax heave of the first track, and glitches trip up then disappear, while a ringing is heard then cut off unceremoniously. God, it reminds me of why I started to get into this electro acoustic junk in the first place – that sublime encounter of disparate elements, of sounds you can practically touch in the dark like walking through great walls of smoke or fog, seeing bats wheel drunkenly in the air so daringly close to your head. It’s warmer than most EAI, thoroughly book smart on the fundamentals of the genre it seems. . . it’s not as austere as Filament, not as noisy as Cremaster, not drearily emotive as Schnee, but I can sense an acknowledgment of all of those things here, if not directly than somehow subliminally. I love how the second track opens with those piano notes, completely unexpected after the electronic pinch of the first track. It lends a certain nostalgic thrust to thing, even as the locked grooves (Jones here?) appear behind the notes, and that moment becomes fleeting, and sinks away to an extended tone, only for the piano to reassert itself once again, this time more abstracted, and less full of gravitas. Lovely really. I can’t think of a better word for it, achingly lovely. There’s this great juxtaposition of sounds here that the best of this music has, the sliding up of common but hard to place sounds next to one another, clicks and burrs, low volume field recordings of trains, or engine rattle or sizzling eggs (who the fuck knows). Nothing is overt and thus it doesn’t make you play the guess what sound that is game – what the hell was that? A mumbled half curse? A masticating answering machine? A feed backing tickle me Elmo? Nah, don’t bother, it’s for the birds. At this point the language of this style has been established, and the shock of sine tones, noisy rumbles and the assorted electronic dark alley dealings has worn off (for me at least, can’t speak for anyone else, I guess). And what’s left here is simply the music, how these sounds stand up as part of a composition (instant or not)… the obscure has become the recognized pallet, and you have to be able to actually use those colors well, blend and shade and create a picture whether it be Rothko or Rembrandt or . The acoustic instruments used here by Sarah Hughes are a boon, as they lend a solid grip to the music, a balancing weight that without it it might simply disappear into the 21st century art-fuck music (thanks Kennan) – music created as intellectual process rather than tired ol’ feelings. And I like feelings. If I want truth and commentary on audience expectation I’ll search youtube for Nick Nolte off his shit.

The more I listen to this the more I enjoy it, which speaks volumes for Loris. And it’s not all fun and games easy listening EAI as I’ve heard the work of those Swiss guys referred to. This stuff still annoys my girl friend, and would probably riddle most of my friends with anxiety (although many of them dig AMM). But we have enough Jerry Garcia’s. Enough Wolf Parades. And Loris should be as popular, or at least as well known, because as it stands, they do what they do so well, so picturesque in a sense. No, it’s not at this point where the art makes you shudder in awe or reconfirm your own proclivities, but it could approach those areas in the future. At this point, it defies expectations, defies boring mastubatory capital A art, and becomes something actually, well, moving and purposeful to listen to, something great to drink bourbon to as the night creeps in and my cat stares at me from afar, which is quaint, considering the title. Anyway, stop spending money on lattes and buy this:

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