Saturday, April 2, 2011

Review: Geoffrey Sexton - Suburban Sun Births (No Kings, 2011)

One of the most interesting things about minimal ambient and drone music is how rich in different textures it is. How many different moods and feelings can be expressed in a long, sustained sound - very small things can decide whether we're floating in a sea of bliss or we're shivering from the cold sounds. Geoffrey Sexton's tape definitely veers toward the latter - this album is definitely in the dark ambient/drone camp. Side A consists of a single droney ghost choir - bassy, cavernous and so, so incredibly cold. Like a brutally rudimentary, bedroom version of Lustmord or the darkest, spookiest moments of Super Minerals' "The Pelagics" stretched into some 15 minutes (the whole tape is a c30). Toward the end of the tape a relentless pulse kicks in, adding even more into the sense of dread. Side B begins with even more sonic wasteland - wasteland being a very good sense of the word, considering it sounds eerily similar to that music in Fallout 2 when you just stop in a random place on a map and wander the empty, endless desert. The layers are numerous and thick with barely recognizable remains of what once sounded like a string instrument. Few minutes into side B and the ambience dissolves into the high point of the entire cassette - a series of reverbed funeral, solemn trombone (or something which at least sounds like a brass instrument)notes, which create a slow, hypnotic melody, like a requiem over a dead world, a previously mentioned sonic wasteland. To sum everything up, Geoff Sexton (who is an experimental filmmaker) created something that could very well be a soundtrack to one of his films - bleak, unsettling and incredibly cinematic. A strong start. Recommended.

Geoff Sexton excerpt by No Kings

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