Pete Swanson - Static Space (Root Strata CD-R)
I'm actually two packages behind on Root Strata releases; it's tough to keep up with the greats. I'll engage and some catching up tonight and rest assured that the new Machinefabriek and Starving Weirdos discs ain't too far back in the stack. Not like he needs introducing but Pete Swanson is one-half of psychic seceders D. Yellow Swans along with Gabriel Mindel Salomon. I've heard lots of Yellow Swans recordings in my day but never a solo outing so I was quite looking forward to "Static Space". It'd be too cheap n' easy to suggest that it sounds like what it is (one-half of the Yellow Swans making a record) but if you're familiar with the YS catalogue then you probably won't find nothing shocking about this one. Pete himself lays it out pretty plainly in the Xerox: all the pieces were performed using two self-oscillating distortion pedals as the source sounds run through various effect routes on his mixers.
There's an interesting duality going on with the four untitled tracks here. The first cut is a brief (six minute) piece that, while not being totally harsh, is still working the aggressive perfector routine and sorta forces a profoundly in-your-face type wind tunnel drone through into one ear and out the other, making me think back a bit to Aaron Dilloway's solo work or maybe even Charlie Draheim. The following, equally-curt track is quite the opposite. A hollowed-out blank stare drone stands tall as the foundation while Swanson manages to carve out blizzard-white gusts of scrapey, eerie frontal lobe activity over top for a tune that manages to be as harrowing as it is hypnotizing. But the next track nails right back down to earth with the sound of multiple hot-wired amps ready to explode and this is the sound of them caught on tape before the inevitable chaos. The final thirteen minutes serve to round out the half-hour with a shapeshifting, ethereal drone layered heavily with thin static and meditative dithering. C.C.C.C.'s Hiroshi Hasegawa way stoned in duet with Z'ev, mixed by Francisco Lopez...lovely way to close out an all-too-short CD-R.
As usual, Root Strata have done an exquisite packaging job with "Static Space" - each one boasts a unique acrylic/oil painting affixed to the front of the cardboard sleeve. But don't go barking up that tree - sold out at source. Your four favorite words! I recommend the Usual Suspects and by that I mean Aquarius, Volcanic Tongue, Fusetron, Eclipse, and other such arms dealers.
Untitled (track 1) (excerpt)
Untitled (track 2) (excerpt)
Untitled (track 4) (excerpt)