"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Old Shoes… New Gaze (Pt. II)

A welcome pretext to revisit Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s blissed and blown out epic, Love is a Stream, among the best of an uneven year for Type, is its appearance in vinyl, specifically the nifty bonus disc, Love is a Dream, on which head Type-ist, Xela, re-channels tracks from Stream into Dream.

Xela & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Love Is A Dream (Part II) by _type

'Shoegaze' has moved from among the maligned (see your LMYE resident footwear-stare commentator previously on Scott Cortez / lovesliescrushing) to being one of the genre epithets to drop when seeking to appeal to the New Ambient And Home Listening Hipster (cf. Kosmische, hypnagogue pop, cold wave, et al.). And J.C-L's first Type solo album has ridden in on the crest of this wave. It opened up a new world of shoegaze-dreampop that melded the eu- to the caco- of the phonic. Stream (and its Xela relative, Dream) is the sound of J.C-L ramping up the lowlight drone sonatas of his earlier work (see later this post) to take a walk on the wildside of bleached-out shoegaze abstraction. Sometimes summery with an upward dynamic, other times plunging cavernously, J.C-L comes on here like the bastard love-child of Kevin Shields and Tim Hecker fostered by Robin Guthrie and Fennesz, the album artfully referencing these previous while retaining its own integrity. Thrill to the sound of etiolated almost-hooks and spectral melodies buried beneath grit slurry, static flurry, and tonebent guitar motifs in a washed out tape-saturated sunburst finish.

Stained Glass Body by _type

White Dwarf Butterfly by _type

River Like Spine by _type

Mirrors Death by _type

Before this second coming was an engrossing haunting first, The Garden Of Forking Paths. "Eschewing the laptop processing of earlier work as Colophon, it was created with tape-based media (cassette and reel-to-reel) and a small arsenal of guitar stop boxes used on wide variety of instruments from electric guitar to bowed gong. [...] With its title taken from a Jorge Luis Borges short story, the album was concerned with dreams, memory, death, birth, infinity and the possibility of an approach where songs are not written so much as much as they slowly emerge out of the process of music making."

Read full review of The Garden Of Forking Paths - JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA on Boomkat.com ©

And for those wanting to explore further there have been a number of other other short format releases, some of which through his own Root Strata imprint, like The Phantom Harp, "Recorded at Sun Place this summer on a borrowed autoharp with electronics. One 20min track of metallic architecture, as seen with x-ray eyes. This is music for airports on the moons of Jupiter"

and Voice Sutra, "A dreamy and tranquil, but still think and fuzzy, slowly shifting soundscape that spends the first fifteen minutes writhing and squirming like a downed electrical wire, buzzing with electronic fuzz and spitting sonic sparks, emitting a thick wash of sonic skree not unlike Total, eventually calming down into a more tranquil ambience, shimmering and simmering and slowly fading to black. Quite nice. Droneheads obviously need this." - Aquarius Records"

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