October 9, 2010

HIGH WOLF - "Ascension" LP/CD (Not Not Fun)

  The NNF label is by far one my favorites out there, as they continue to belt out a seemingly endless supply of brain melting psych and drone acts, by the truckload.In 2009, they released High Wolf's Animal Totum cassette, a thirty minute plus mystery ride, deep into rich,warm electronics and red clouds of acoustic/analog swells.It was rather well received by weirdo noise blogs,and drone fans alike.It's dense synthesizer workouts and gentle layers of percussion have since been compared to the sounds of Brian Eno, James Ferraro, Ralph & Florian and the like.
   With the growing popularity of this outsider genre,as well as a slew of tapes,cdr's and split records, High Wolf  has returned with another slow-burning brain candle entitled Ascension.This subtle, yet unpredictable animal comes in the form of five long songs, clocking in at just under 45 minutes.Meeting of the three Seas starts things off with a gentle sunrise drone, slowly creeping up over the treeline and warming your face.A clicking percussive loop makes it's way into the picture and things slowly start to come together.The tiny melodies begin to swell up and multiply, creating something deep and intense.By the five minute mark, there are so many layers of soft-synth bleeps, swirling treated brass instruments and tabla thudding, you will think you are deep into some ceremonial Native-American spirit worship.Absolutely hypnotizing.
  As Ascension begins to unfold, more worldly sounds are unearthed.The frequent use of woodwinds, brass, analog synths, as well as a shit ton of shakers and noise makers, keeps this from coming off as just another Ash Ra Temple or Popol Vuh tribute album.It's full of dense melodies and earthy instrumentation, and steers clear of previously covered ground whenever possible, without being contrived or a boring novelty.A massive album to truly get lost with.Best if listened to while levitating.

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