Carrie - Send An Army Of Angels [Bad Rip Series - 2014]
Here’s a cdr utilising the undoubtable talents of two shining lights in HNW: James Killick as Carrie and Julien Skrobek as the owner of Bad Rip Series. Killick is the figure behind such projects as Love Katy and Small Hours, as well the labels Sweet Solitude and Vagary Records; whilst Skrobek has a plethora of notable projects and labels under his belt - Ghost, Static Park, Butch Bag and Ruine, to name a few of the former; with Slow Death Records, Ink Runs Recordings and Corpse Grained Series as the latter. The twenty-six minute long track, “Send An Army Of Angels”, is all Killick’s work, though and, as with his Love Katy persona, the piece is dedicated to a modern pop singer: Carrie Underwood (yes, I had to look her up).
The track is a shifting series of walls, arranged somewhat unusually and with use of palindrome. The piece starts with, what sounds like, a live rendition of a song by Underwood; this is quickly consumed by a rising wall in each channel. Both these walls are dominated by low-mid elements, churning fast, but with a crusty warmth. Around the four minute mark, one channel shifts to a more whited-out wash; before dissipating around the nine minute mark. After a few, more measured, tweaks, the other channel “whites out” after sixteen minutes; before, again, disappearing - leaving us with our starting textures, but in reversed channels. With four minutes left, the Underwood track is reintroduced and the walls slowly withdrawn. If you’ve followed my laborious thread, you’ll understand that each channel is the reverse of each other, with the song used to begin and close proceedings. Its an unusual structure and one that plays on the mind after listening. I can’t decipher any great meaning to the construction, so it simply remains an interesting mystery.
At the risk of sounding “unengaged”, anything Killick puts out is generally worthy of hearing; “Send An Army Of Angels” is no different in that regard. If anything, its one of the more interesting things I’ve heard from his quarter for a while. I’m normally a great fan of concise wall releases, but here, I must admit I would have liked a second or third track - to really get a sense of his intentions and ideas with the album. However, as it stands, its another fine addition to a fine discography - and, I daresay, long gone - with Killick’s normal care and attention to textures. If I have one criticism, its that my “perfection in form” brain grumbles about the ending: where the track begins with the song and a near-instant rising of the walls, it ends with the walls fading out “early”, leaving a minute or so of bare song. But I think we can allow this slight palindromic imperfection… Martin P