Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Stitched Vision - Fold (Eternal Solitude, 2011)

On his third cassette release, Jason „Stitched Vision” Campbell keeps refining his sound while keeping the characteristic warm sandpaper-y textures to his drones. Every track on Fold follows the similar formula of a beautiful, yet somewhat sour and morose melody emerging from the throbbing drone. The example of this is the opening “Abalone Diver”, in which lonely, sequencer-rich notes rise from the stormy sea of low-frequency pulses, which rises and falls. Or the kosmische “Glass Palace”, where synth pads create an icy soundscape perfect for winter stargazing (well, if I’m not mistaken, it’s winter right now in Australia, am I correct?).
It is on Fold where Campbell finally focuses less on the wall of drones and more on the melodies – the drones are still there, and are still prominent, but now they don’t take the spotlight anymore, they don’t drown out the shy, background melodies. It’s as if he took confidence in his song-writing (or maybe track-writing?) skills – the best example is the apex of the cassette, side B opener “Observation Deck”, where Jason reaches new heights of sad beauty with sweeping sequences and gentle droning a’la early Mist releases or guitar-less Emeralds at their most introverted (think Allegory of Allergies, only less sprawling).
It is obvious now, over the course of three cassettes, that Stitched Vision is constantly refining his skills, constantly looking for a personal, immediately recognizable style which will be purely his own. Jason Campbell might be a pearl diver, looking for the one special pearl under the stormy sea of vintage drones.

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