Friday, January 24, 2014

Tome to the Weather Machine Review

The folks at Tome to the Weather Machine posted a very kind, and very thoughtful, review of Cold Wires. In fact, they totally hit the nail on the head in terms of the sort of album I was trying to create, so it feels good to know some of that came across. Also, being recommended alongside serious favourites of mine like Jasper TX and Secret Pyramid is very flattering.

"Cold Wires" lives in that space right before that contact mic stab of metal-on-metal feedback. You know that hum of a loose connection? That static charge you can feel reverberating right up your arm as you plug guitar into amp. Imagine living in that world for close to an hour. The air heavy with pregnant ions, brittle snaps of crackling feedback, alternating pitches of frequencies being tuned to piercing, dog-level highs and rumbling, bowel-shaking lows. I would be unfair to limit the dynamics of "Cold Wires" to this moment, but most of the album rides this razor's edge of tension-filled soundscapes both cold and wired. While Greenhouse seeks golden and leaden sounds without, this rumbling hum often acts a center, a homing device that guides all melodies and stray pitches back into it's cold, loving arms.

Flying under the flag of the always excellent Winnipeg label Prairie Fire Tapes, "Cold Wires" is an exhibition of minimal drones polished and coded under a thick pall of ambient electronics that signal and blink like a nighttime aerial view of an airport. Which makes sense as much of this album feels like circling and coming home in the vein of highway amnesia or a dog settling down for bed. A drift back into something with a minimal frame, but filled with so much stuff. Our stuff. A place completely ambivalent to our existence until we arrive there and start unpacking.

"Cold Wires" ends with one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard in a very long while. After the ominous sustained tones, whale-song guitar lines and serrated organ of "Sick Breath", "Your Favorite Place" ends with an elegiac, three-minute guitar piece comprised of a few simple notes plucked out with plenty of space left slack for the warm sustain to simply hang in the air like a swarm of cicadas on a hot summer's night. A perfect way to end an album which utilizes long, sustained tones for remarkably different ends.

Physical copies of "Cold Wires" at the time of this writing are no longer for sale as Chris from Prairie Fire Tapes/Dub Ditch Picnic recovers from a serious car accident (our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family), however, digital copies are available at the bandcamp link provided below.

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