Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Artist: LSJ (@)
Title: Misty Nights
Format: Tape
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
LSJ is the mane of the band, consisting of the initials of the artists involved: Lisa Cameron, Shawn David McMillen and Josh Ronsen. Like many of the artists on Public Eyesore, I was unfamiliar with these artists, but the label always ends up taking the listener on an interesting ride. The first thing to mention is the insert with an amusing story about the artists trying to capture a snake, and then eventually playing music to it. It made for fun reading while listening to the opening tracks. “Rayon Gingham” starts us off with some heavy bass and sparse improvisation that jumps around like a child on rocks in a stream. Suddenly, we hear a bit of vocals, but before we have a chance to register what happened it suddenly unloads with a ragged, droning torrent of sound. Then, as suddenly as it began, it quietly slows down, and then ends. “Video Pirate” opens up with a nice bit of dissonance and rhythmic scraping. This is a slow, methodical piece that slowly drags you along with bits of bass and guitar along with a metallic rhythm. It winds down becoming more and more quiet before ending. “SVU in SUV at SVT” opens with some clanking metal and low bass drone. This track feels less put together and more random, like field recordings at a junkyard layered over bass drone and feedback. It is pleasant listening with enough going on to make it interesting, but it does feel like it goes on a bit longer than it needs to as it dissolves into droning improvisations. Turning the tape over, we begin with “Pants with Shit-ton of Pockets.” This opens with a snippet of conversation, followed by deep woodwind that recedes into the background to make way for thudding beats, like someone pounding on a wall in an abandoned basement. There is a lot going on here, and this feels like it could make an interesting soundtrack to an art installation. “Dead Fog” lives up to its namesake, with very sparse sounds quietly seeping through your speakers. Where “Pants” was much more in your face, “Dead Fog” takes a more minimalist approach as it slowly adds layers. It envelops you over time as it surrounds you. Things take a sinister turn, however, as this moves into “Dead Fog II: The Chirping,” with its ominous bass and warbling tones. If “Dead Fog” was the peaceful fog over a beautiful meadow on a cool spring day, “Dead Fog II” is the fog that obscures your vision in the woods at dusk when you know that there is someone – or something – out there. You can’t see it, but you can feel their eyes on you as you helplessly look around you, frantically hoping to see something in the dwindling light. But all you see is fog. Nothing but fog. Overall, this is an enjoyable album, and if you like a lot of chaos in your experimental music this is one worth checking out.


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