Saturday, January 28, 2012

Take Time

Checked out Windy & Carl last night at the Sonic Lullaby mini-fest in Berkley, Michigan. Two nights of ambient drone and soft textural music. W&C have been unraveling and recoiling their sonics for almost 20 years and have developed and inarguable signature sound that relies on equal parts subtlety and sensitivity. I've been following their music since about 1996 or so, and watching their incredibly thoughtful evolution has been a constantly thought-provoking and rewarding thing. Details in my mind are blurred, but I think the first time I saw them was at Alvin's in Detroit at part of some Godzuki record release show where ten or eleven bands covered the songs on the Godzuki record. I couldn't believe how icy Windy & Carl rendered the sunny electro-twee of Godzuki's original using just guitars and pedals. It was really transporting, even though there was this strange disconnected reservation to their playing. I didn't really have my head around drone music when I was 20, but I knew I was seeing something unusual and special. Last night was much the same. They started out with Carl on a tape delay unit of some sort and Windy processing her vocals through an electric thumb-piano made of a metal box and contact mic. This dark, ensconcing sound rolled by softly. Eventually they picked up guitars and added to the glowing/growling tones, moving by in heavy gusts until an abrupt yet natural fade back to silence. Their set was so controlled while being almost completely effortless. Like watching winter slowly freeze and thaw in some blurred stop-motion. They just finished a new record on Kranky called "We Will Always Be" which is their first release in about three or four years. It's so good to watch the continuing progress of these kind and talented people, just getting better and more focused as time goes on.

The RFD "Lead Me Home" is a Christian private press record from 1971. I wrote a review of it a few years back and every winter I return to this record and just repeat jam it. The most insular, frozen waiting vibes in some false hippy commune sheen. Seriously an amazing facade of brotherly love masking some deep pit-of-the-stomach depression.

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