Submental – 180º splitrec 29 CD and DL
“This idea of interlocking creativity is clear from the very beginning as in “Scalene”, with the introduction consisting of low-pitched traverse whooshes, vibrating string rebounds and whispered syllable fragments. By the finale moody, low-pitched nattering and foreshortened flute vibrations mate at the same time as below-the-bridge guitar strums hold the beat. With enough extended techniques in use so tone-shifting buzzes can often sound like keyboard pulses, the trio’s textures at points even suggest electronic interface. This is particularly noticeable on the final “Equiangular” where Ashwood ‘s noisy abrasions and buzzing flanges give way to a clunky undercurrent which from below harmonizes Denley’s amplified storm-brewing like textures and Stewart’s throat cocks and cries.” Ken Waxman Jazzword
“The three are credited simply with acoustic guitar, bass flute and voice respectively, but there seems to be a hell of a lot going on besides. Bowing and scraping sounds, fluid drones, rattles and pops – is Stewart making that electronic creaking noise herself? I keep listening closer and I’m starting to believe they can actually make these sounds unaided: breath, flute and rubbed strings, struck instruments and oral clicks merge in mysterious ways that build up continually changing, complex aural textures. Stewart’s typically fragmented texts here disappear almost completely into pure sound; all three get deep into the grain of their respective axes, evoking profound expression without ever imposing it. They’re at the top of their game here.” Ben Harper
“tracks like Oblique, a soundscape at times bathed in a dark silence, shows how well Submental make use of less is more. Stewart leans in and out of the shadows in a way that leaves the listener craning their neck to catch her next fleeting appearance. The harsh beauty of Ashwood’s strumming entry following this episode seems like a golden resonance.” Joe Cummings Loud Mouth
“180° utilize their long standing connection as musicians to cook up an intense and most experimental menu of eight tunes which possibly make up the most leftfield, unique, outstanding and threatening release on Splitrec. so far, with prepared guitar and pitched down bass flute providing a vantablack DarkAmbient meets Tribal backdrop for Amanda Stewart’s hypnotic Spoken Word sequences and further rhythmic non-vocalisms which, in their rhythmicity, seem to hark back to the chants of Australia’s aboriginal people at times whilst at others, especially in the deep, minimalist and partly PostRock-reminiscing outing that is “Oblique” even touch one’s innermost soul at a very seductive, intimate note with a velvety tone and quasi-singing approach. Furthermore, cuts like the subsequent “Isosceles” introduce a kind of wistful melancholia alongside a certain form of tender musical romanticism and thrilling, slightly varied rhythmic repetition, “Acute” somewhat seems to describe a mental state on the brink to madness whilst “Degenerate” seems to capture outerdimensional hissings from the deepest, lightless vaults of the ultraworld just to name a few. Recommended, this!” Baze.Djunkiii writing in Nitestylez.
“Stewart, like Denley and Ashwood, has a thorough mastery of extended technique and blends in perfectly with their timbre-driven, texturally centered styles. In some of the music’s truly beautiful moments her whispering naturally harmonizes with Denley’s air notes—a reminder that the flute is really just voice once removed. Here as on his other work, Denley displays a technical sophistication and sensitivity in playing on the border between noise and pitch. No less crucial to the collective sound is the rattle and jangle of Ashwood’s guitar, convincingly likening itself to a detuned zither.” Avant Music News
“The flux is constant, but its not a jumble, more of a collected chaos, with brief melodic passages and plenty of metallic squeaking and other discombobulated effects tossed in to spike and drive the mix. These guys have a lot of breath, that’s for sure. And even the moments in repose are a bit disquieting. A liberating listen from beginning to end.” T.J. Norris, Toneshift.
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parasite – Rhys Mottley // Prepared guitar splitrec 28 CD and DL
Splitrec proudly presents the first of a series of releases from a new generation of Sydney improvising experimenters.
Vital weekly says, There is some great music captured on this release, all very refined. Frans de Ward
Baze. Djunkiii writing in Nitestylez says
Based on prepared acoustic guitar we see Mottley present an array of three compositions stretched out over the course of 49 minutes, with the opening “Gut Feeling” occupying more than half of the total playtime. This tune, as the rest of the album recorded in an abandoned Sydney sports club, is like a deep meditation on percussive, yet well-stripped down Post-PostRock carefully performed and evolved by the former Metal guitarist who’s able to touch the inner core of the human subconscious with these slightly varied, ever evolving repetitions slowly and steadily progressing into more of an electro-acoustic take on experimental Ambient soundscapes with squealing metal sounds and scraping surface noises whereas the subsequent “Throat Feeling” provides an inward-looking jouney into the realm of minimalist, tenderly plucked guitar figures as well as what can be described as a beauteous, ultra-calm overall vibe for PostRock lovers and those beyond. Finally, “Ear Feeling” brings forward a tense, flickering and partly score’esque arrangement with a slightly post-apocalyptic touch, telling dark tales of lurking, yet unspoken of dangers and a world torn down in which only echoes of human civilisation still exist whilst nuclear tumbleweed finds its way through abandoned streets and into progressively decaying ruins of what once west a thriving metropolis. Great stuff. Recommended.
Here is an interview with Rhys.
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