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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Birds of Delay - 'Gateway to Feather' (Alcoholic Narcolepsy)

This is an artifact from the explosion of underground UK noise-drone that peaked around 2006-2007. Birds of Delay are two guys that like feedback, and everything is recorded with the thick soupy drone + feedback layers that characterise their sound, at least at the time. 'Sandcastle Brain' opens it up with 15 minutes of monotony, to the point that the other track, 'Creamed Abandon', sounds lively by comparison. The latter applies bending and twisting tones to create a more psychedelic effect, though since everything (on both tracks) is breaking up through digital distortion, it feels very compressed. Music like this demands space, and there is space here but not much; you can't help but feel claustrophobic, even a bit frightened while listening to this. What this whole scene did is remove the trancelike/hypnotic elements from drone and leave the bad hangovers and nasty backlash. I'm trying to think if there's something distinctly British here, like the taste of a warmed Wetherspoon's pint or scampi fries, or if this might as well be from anywhere. I don't know what actualy would characterise US vs UK vs Korean drone, except that I can say Starving Weirdos sound nothing like this. I guess it's like a Jackson Pollock piece, where you can pick a sound and let your ear wander around on it, except it would be like looking at a Pollock painting in a really poorly lit room. I know that lo-fi is a choice and this aesthetic has its advantages. but you'd have to be deluded to think that a super quality recording wouldn't benefit these blokes. Or maybe you'd just realise how cheap their equipment is, because it sounds like it's all held together with gaffa tape.

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