Tombi - Cavern Tapes Volume 2 (Twonicorn CS) & Drunjus - On the Heels of Sleipnir (Twonicorn 2xCS)
Two new fallen comets from the "basement new age crawl" of Twonicorn, out of Providence, RI. This is the first I've heard from this label, but apart from these they've got a Glass Organ tape under the belts and a Spectre Flux one on the way, so you know they won't be tremendously unknown for long. And it's almost entirely a tape label! Fuckin' a I love tapes. And I love tape labels. And I love sweet jams. So it's all good here. Both tapes come with some swank Xeroxed green & black inserts but the Drunjus one in particular has a nice handmade wrap-around binding the two cassette cases and some curious prose on the inside.
We'll do the Tombi one first. I've never heard of this outfit prior to picking up the tape, and Google isn't much help either. Alls I can tell you is that volume one of the "Cavern Tapes" series came and went on the same label as this and Tonefilth also put out another one of their tapes. Mysterious, just the way I like it! Side one contains the track "Futurh (sic?) Skull Prayers" and there's a huge blast of red streaming out of my stereo upon pressing play, slow-evolving drones various strands bleeding into eachother. It's hard to tell what the sound sources are at first but I'll play it safe and say guitars and assorted busted electronics. Could be a microphone dropped into a hole in the earth for all I know. Later there's definitely some squeeeling guitar, sinister rumbles and sonic dithering. It's like the sound that lingers in your ears when you put the TV on static at super-loud volume and then shut it off (or am I the only one who's done that). The kind of ecstatic drones that scream live free or die. And indeed when the white-walled detonations fade out there's some barely-there vocals, calling and chanting.
The flip side has two tracks. The first is "Sunken Rib Tones" which is as apt a description for the sounds as any. It's a harsher, more gut-busting guitar drones. Looped patterns and skull-burning resonance.
Finally "Ether Blossom" starts out like screechy alien transmissions, entering in an epic duel with some vibrating fuzzed-up guitar. This one's got a serious waaahhh-drenched vibe to it, colorful-hued towers scraping the sky, circled by helicopters. The first side and the last track reminded me of contemporaries the Skaters as well as Double Leopards but this last one comes across more kraut/psych influenced. Which can't ever be bad.
Double set from Drunjus next, who stopped gobs last year with a magnificent self-titled natural drone blow-out. They seemed to be heavy into field recording-incorporation on that one which is sadly absent from these tapes, but I think I'll survive. This is an offshoot of Davenport, another sect which I am virtually ignorant about. The first tape is split, with a quieter ambience on the first side and a spikey roar on the second. I'm partial to the first, kind of like a nice prelude to a No-Neck or VCO gig. Over the course of the side the drone they conjure up starts stretching and spreading its wings, real nice and wondrous-like. It all stops abruptly and I'm left with the clicking of the tape which might not be intentional but sure does sound nice as it too fades out and stops with the side. The B side is like a vibrant laser-light show with deliciously swarmy, frolicking soundwaves. Hermann Nitsch coming from a rock background?
Tape two commences supremely damaged, tapes playing frontwards and backwards in varying speeds. A heavy, lysergik church vibe permeates. It's all sorts of smothering, grinding, and foreboding. Like looking into a great big yawning mout-and then it ends.
Side 2 plays with the dichtonomy again, placing a quieter piece on the other side of a more zapped effort. This one is lilting and drifting, the soundtrack to bathing in the Milky Way. No surprise then that I'm reminded of other cosmic drone emperors My Cat is an Alien. This one has a lovely ending, like the fragility of the white streaks left behind by a lear jet before they crumble and dissipate. Dare I say angelic? I do indeed. The sounds on here aren't as fresh or as inspired as what we heard on that self-titled behemoth I was talking about earlier but enjoyable all the same.
I'd like to recommend these but unfortunately they both seem to be very sold out, with the Drunjus tape limited to 50 and the Tombi one a second edition of 25 copies. Aquarius Records got almost the entirety of the Tombi tape though so try hitting them up first. The only thing I can recommend, however, is staying tuned to the happenings over at Twonicorn. If these are any indication, you're not going to want to miss what's up next.