November 30, 2010

PEAKING LIGHTS/WET HAIR - "Bored Fortress(year 4) split 7" - (NNF)

  I will just say this ahead of time.I've been a big fan of both of these acts nearly since their inception, around the mid 00's, and this release is by far their best to date.In my opinion.It was part of Not Not Fun's amazing Bored Fortress split 7" club, and has recently been released on it's own, along with the rest of the series.I will get around to reviewing them as they come to me.Be patient.Or, just go buy them, they all pretty much kill.
  Peaking Lights is a blazing mystery duo from CA.They have a slew of releases out there, including a great 12" and cassette on Shawn Reed's Night People label.On "Birds of Paradise", they keep it deep and creep with a wash of hazily soaked synth-jabs, and sprawling drone-devices that come in flux.This track is kind of similar to earlier Ducktails ventures, with some awesome low-end machine clatter and heavily stretched out dub worship to top it off.A choppy reggae guitar-clank rides over top of things, and keeps it lite and breezy.They are sort of known for their semi-tortured/woozy female vocal styles, and they are pretty prominent here, with some help from a slurred sample that i can't make out.All in all, a pretty cohesive slow crawl into the muck.Awesome stuff indeed.
  Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes' Wet Hair project fills up side b, and they take us for a few wild turns on this one.I am kind of a sucker for this band.They effortlessly take all my favorite bits and pieces of Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, classic kraut, and their former beloved animal guise Raccoo-oo-oon, and throw them all into a circuit-bent blender.The result is a heavy, dubbed-out, minimal psych groove-machine called Wet Hair.Their homemade analog machines and treated synths push them a step ahead of others trying to swing this kind of stuff, indeed.Shawn Reed's croon is not too far off from Martin Rev's low mumble, and it works good for them.On "Blessed", the duo take an even deeper dive into beat worship, with a thicker, more heady machine bounce.They cleverly split the 808 swagger between the left and right channels, giving off a sweet stereo-panned vibe, with one side a half step ahead of the other.It gives the song that "second drummer" groove, that Fugazi and Black Eyes(R.I.P.) sucked us all in with time and again.Glad to see someone is out there is thinking.
  This new, more tuneful approach to their craft reminds me of the more sprawling Kraftwerk project, Ralph and Florian.The beats begin to double and triple, as the keys continue with a lush, simple melodic drive.The vocals aren't anything too out of the ordinary for them, with some distorted delays added to the howls.A definite bump in production, and slightly catchier, and even more uplifting than their previous efforts.I'm already stoked on what they will do next.Killer art layout by the band.Look for a new Wet Hair/Naked On The Vague split 12", out via Night People, now!

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