Warm Climate - Forced Spring for Rising Tide (Robert Barry Construction Associates CD)
Warm Climate is Seth Kasselman and Rune Freeman from Los Angeles, CA (aren't they all from California now? Bloody hell) and apparently they've been around long enough to make this their fifth album although I've been totally oblivious up to this point. Maybe it's just me. Their press release says they've been known to "play songs, document the sounds of volcanic ash, and perform selections from Stockhausen's "Aus Den Sieben Tagen"". Sounds okay to me. Apparently "Forced Spring for Rising Tide" is a year-long documentation inspired by/recorded during a trip to Arizona and indeed the liner notes claim the four songs here were recorded both indoors and outdoors. I'm not sure if the part about this recording finding them "lost in Sequoia National Park and the Arizona desert" is to be taken literally or what but regardless it sheds at least a tiny light on the brand of bizarridity these two are into.
This disc is a strange one, and of course it's Meant to Be Like That but I think it should be said anyway because it really did throw me (and is throwing me) a curve. Something else that should be said is that opening track "Sincerely, the Moon" has to absolutely be one of the worst anythings I've ever heard at all in recent memory. I don't know if you've ever had it where you're standing in front of your stereo watching the time display count up and trying to figure out if it's really worth your continued attention or if you should just give up all hope right away, but that's about where I was 2 and a half minutes into this thing. I don't want to harp too much but imagine some kind of ill-advised jumble of Current 93, the Residents, Tom Waits, Derek Bailey and Mr. Bungle's "Everyone I Went to High School With is Dead" and, well, yeah. The less said the better. If you make it through that though you gain access to the half-hour title track, clearly the centerpiece of the whole shebang. And to be real, pretty much the entire first third of the piece is taking a ride shotgun in the No-Neck Volkswagen but there's a lot of real nice moments too, including some delightful horn play that brings about Idris Ackamoor's grand funk at times. Mostly it's a comfy two-step groove with all the usual oddities tossed in...most deft of these is the clanging bell/chime symphony that builds up to a point where it totally dwarfs the rest of the tune and ingrains itself directly in the lifeblood of the tune, no beats missed. It could've ended sooner as I wasn't really into the claptrap that eats up the last 7 or so minutes of airtime, but you just can't stop these types of probably bearded and possibly barefoot troupes...you can only hope to contain them. "NASA March" builds itself up into a playful krauty xylophone kerplunk battling through an ever-growing current of noise, static and other effects, and the closing "Creole Accordion Whisper" is a mighty fine Six Organs/Ashtray Navigations dirt raag (and really the only one that inspires visions of Arizona in my head) but it's woefully brief at just under four minutes - ain't that sometimes the way? A whole side of this and I could've been wooed from the get-go and might notta even thunk to make a Phil Todd/Volkswagen rib. But I doubt it.
So yeah like I said, pretty wild ride here and I kinda think that I'd be better having heard Warm Climate's four other albums before coming to this one so I don't come off so cultureshocked, but then again about half the material on this doesn't really make me want to either. And I don't even know what is up with that label name but I think I like it and not even in a "so bad it's good" type way. More like an I dunno and I dun wanna no way.
Forced Spring for Rising Tide (excerpt)
NASA March (excerpt)