Sunday, July 29, 2007


Got a nice three-CD-R-pack from the Mouthus-run Our Mouth label a while back and have been stupidly ignoring it, but finally cracked them all open (digitally speaking) this week and none disappoint. There's Big Whiskey's Semi-Brown Music, a nice pair of muffled, rattling psych/noise excursions; Lexie Mountain's Blood Shed in the Course of Things, two really excellent 18-minute collages of fractured speech, vocal garbling, and cramped noise falling in the same geo-musical region as some of Carly Ptak's solo stuff; and, the most mouth-watering of the three, a self-titled EP by Spirit of the Positive Wind, the quartet of Mouthus-men Brian Sullivan and Nate Nelson, Karl Bauer (aka Axolotl), and Magik Marker/GHQ'er Pete Nolan.

Now I'm not gonna pretend that the two tracks here are some magic amalgam of these four's best moments - it would be both ridiculous to claim and unfair to expect - but I can say that I'm not totally willing to rule out the possibility quite yet. Cause both pieces have really snuck up on me this weekend - when I checked em out early in the week, they sounded rather unremarkably good, like something you'd really dig if you saw these four jamming on it in a practice space, but that you'd not really think much about afterwards - an elusive, moment-in-time sort of thing. But today I'm surprised to hear stuff I didn't hear before; both pieces actually sound quite different from what I remembered just a few days ago, especially the 16-minute second track "West Wind," which earlier felt like a collective, passive loop sort of along the lines of Mick Jagger's Moog soundtrack to Anger's Invocation of My Demon Brother, but now suddenly feels a lot more active. It even feels like a more subdued, beat-driven version of something from Double Leopards' great, under-appreciated Circa 1999-2001. I'm not saying it's ever gonna be some kinda epic that I return to annually, but there's a lot more happening in it than I first gave it credit for, which for me always means something...

That track's a little too long to post, but luckily the first cut, "East Wind," is almost as good. This is more like what you'd expect from the participants - lots of winding, whistling guitar noise accompanied by little semi-patters of blipping noise and chiming loops. The trebly, gravelly edge of the guitar stuff for some reason paints an image in the back of my brain of a drum-less Blue Humans, or a more stoned version of the great static noise on the Bill Orcutt solo album. Those are both strained comparisons tho - more feelings than actually literal resemblences - and anyway what's more important/cool is that the track doesn't immediately sound like Mouthus, Axolotl, or Magik Markers. It simply sounds like four fertile-minded noise-improvisers making sure not to waste the time they got to spend together, which more than justifies Our Mouth's documentation of said experience (and, hopefully, promotion of repeat occurrences...)

SPIRIT OF THE POSITIVE WIND - "East Wind" from Spirit of the Positive Wind


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