Closing - I [Modern Tapes - 2020]I is a c60/ digital download that appeared on New York-based Modern Tapes last summer. It offers up two side long examples of deeply oppressive & greyly enveloping drone work, that features nicely shifting 'n' building sound detail, and decidedly uneasy atmosphere.
The release appeared in August of last year- with the tape ltd to fifteen copies. The black shelled & one side labelled cassette comes in fold-out silkscreen cover- this finds white screen printed ink on black card stock, with the artwork taking in inversed/ blurred front cover artwork & dense/filled in texts. Inside we find a murky double-sided inlay taking in a barely make out detail photo on one side, then on the other kit set-up. Lastly, we get a sticker & DL code- so a nice & grimly presented release. This tape is now sold out with the label, but the labels Bandcamp do mention distros still having copies.
As its title suggests I is the first work from the Closing project- behind it is Patrick Scott, who has been sonically active since the late 90’s first as a guitarist in post-hardcore band Killsadie- with more recent work moving towards more noise bound & experimental fare- with projects such as Verhalte- that blends noise, dark ambient, industrial and brutalist techno, minimal post-punk/synthwave project Unur, and lower case noise project V.H- he also runs Modern Tapes.
So first up we have “The Blood Flowed Faster” it begins with a slow rising drone- this has the quality of both tightly locked/ loop didgeridoo & deep billowing horn work. At around the two & a half minute mark we get added to the mix a blend of waving mids, hovering juddering with higher pitched tones, and an off to the side snapping tone- which rather brought to mind that eerier 3d quality that the likes of the Starving Weirdos were good at. As we move on Scott subtle builds & shifts the matt of simmering foreboding sound- and deep down there is a real feeling of malevolent unease & dread present- also there is a sense of industrial churn 'n' gallop nicely flitting around the edges of the track's intent. Around the tenth minute mark, things seem to pare back a little, but this is fairly brief as by the fourteenth minute the blend of ringing tone 'n' bass tolling has increased- and this is nicely enhanced by these darts of weird warbling voices & distant knocks ‘n’ darts. In its last quarter, the tension shifts back, as we get this slow looping throb appearing- this creates a feeling of unease grandeur, though as we move into it's last minute or so the intensity has settled back in.
The other track here is “Blurring Not Blinding”- here we kick straight in with the feeling of tension & unease, as we find a mix of low-moving-to-mid-range hover, looped & distant ring, and droning tone simmers. The start of this track rather brought to mind the denser & uneasy ambient side of Swans Soundtracks For The Blind album. But as we progress things becoming both more ringing & rattling, with fleeting darts & drifts of sudden field recordings- which are difficult to fully identify, though around the midpoint we do hear the very occasional bird song- which suggests a calmer-less tense reality off in the distance somewhere.
I is a rewarding two-pronged excise in long-form drone matter from Scott, with each track seeing him blending the layers/ elements together with a mood-yet- yet skilfully manner. With a nice pro underground presentation to the packing- to hear samples & more head hereRoger Batty