Sabers - Specter [Neurot Recordings - 2003]Ominous music out of your speakers… Sabers probably won’t physically threaten you, but you’re never going to be sure how you’re gonna get out of this situation safely, at least for your mind...
Sabers is Jeff Conaway and Charlie Hines. Neurot fans might be familiar with Conaway from his work with the excellent band Bee and Flower (debut album reviewed here). But there is nothing linking the Bee’s dark ballads and the soundscapes on Specter.
For it’s soundscapes we’re talking about... Created through loops, drums, baritone guitar, pedals, effects, bass and guitar amps. Loess kindchen set things straight and make you feel uncomfortable with it’s very dark and icy feedback and frequencies variations. Towards the end of the track, drums restore a little sense of purpose so that the “weakest” listeners can live through to the second track. Golden green starts with birds singing and a guitar drone, gradually becoming more promeinent. Towards the end, the guitar is noisier, the drumming less abstract. But this moment of anger is quickly forgotten and we’re greeted back by the birds and the ambient guitar. Lion pose starts as another ambient guitar piece, but it all changes pretty quick: more noise from the guitars. But most of all the drums are placed at the “forefront”, Conaway giving here a nice example of the versatility of his playing: he can bash it industrial-style, or in a more traditional way, but he is also able to throw in some jazz influence. This track particularly highlights the way he uses his cymbals. Emeritus is also drum-oriented. This time around, it has some trance enducing effect, music for some ritual... A fabulous track. And then, there is Specter, some sort of outro, mix of feedback and field-recording, leading you safely to the end of the CD.
Some great stuff on this CD... Quite dark, sometimes threatening, but there is always a little glimmer of hope...François Monti