Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: Holy Family "A Rising Tide Of Halos" cs (Sanity Muffin Limited Tapes)

     Having had the pleasure of finally seeing one of my musical heroes, Lawrence English, perform live at Seattle's recent Substrata 1.2 festival, I was thrilled to see that he had a tape release available at the merch table. Holy Family is a collaborative project between Lawrence and John Chantler. John describes the tape as " Fairly punishing synth action recorded mostly when I was down in Australia in 2010/11 after our tour there with Tujiko Noriko. Part of one track also recorded at Noriko’s place in Paris in April 2010." It is awesome that these guys still release "kult" tapes on small regional labels like the Oakland based Sanity Muffin. True integrity!
     A wavering drone slowly morphs into being as strange chirps fade in and out. The build develops quickly as a dark mood predominates. There is an almost breath-like back and forth to the intertwining sounds as they wrap around one another again and again until the piece abruptly ends. Track two starts even more aggressively, with a higher pitched drone quickly adorned by majestic swells of bass which enfold it. The whole of side A continues this bleak yet shining duet, and is completely absorbing.
     Side B explores similar territory, but investigates new strategies as it unfolds. We move into coal black electronics and a deepening sense of menace.  A truly industrial mood is created as electronic buzzings come and go across the field of drone, subtle changes making startling transformations. The background electronics shriek higher and higher, then drop out suddenly, leaving the droning center to slowly slowly thicken and decay.

John Chantler's work may be found here:

Lawrence English's wonderful Room 40 label may be found here:

Sanity Muffin Tapes are available here:


1 comment:

  1. great review and a KILLER tape indeed! Limited to 100! go get one while you can!