Review: Midday Veil "Integratron" cs (Translinguistic Other Records cat: TLO10)
Integratron starts with a mesmerizing track called "Antigravity". It begins with a subliminal drone that develops so slowly it provokes one to reach for the volume knob. This drone gradually grows, joined by a hypnotic tribal rhythm that slowly becomes more insistent. Haunted sounds that could be vocals or synths tease at the corners, rising almost imperceptibly as the whole thing gathers steam. The drums increase like an accelerating heartbeat as the piece escalates the tempo. Cymbals crash, toms rattle, and an undercurrent of menace ensues. The ritual reaches its peak as the percussion crescendos and gently fades. "Rejuvenation" follows logically from this arresting opener and continues to evoke pagan mysticism and motorik trance for the rest of side A. Drummer Chris Pollina shines on this side as he pummels away, leading a funeral march through a cyclone of whirling synthesis.
Side B consists of a single 23 minute long track, "Time Travel." Opening with a chiaroscuro sound palette, our travel through time is an uncertain one, at best. Synthesizers chirp like evil sparrows which recede into the shadows. Clanks and rattles conjure some unseen activity of a possibly sinister nature. This is really great, atmospheric stuff that brings to mind comparisons with classic industrial underground stuff like Sterile Record's early tapes or Nekrophile Records act Zero Kama. The drones get deeper and faster as the time machine whirls, abstract drumming providing a silver filigree around its dark mass. At the end of this journey we are set back down on terra firma, and released with a hushed fadeout.
Midday Veil are at their best when they pursue more abstract strategies like this, and I count this as one of their finest releases in a so far dud free catalog. They are also at their best in the live setting so if you haven't seen them yet, do so. If you are not from Seattle, you may be in luck. MV will be touring the west coast in October, spreading their lysergic wings over our unsuspecting neighbors.
Get this tape HERE (while it lasts): http://records.translinguisticother.com/