review

fluid-radio

Scott Cortez may not be a familiar name for some of you. Up until fairly recently, I too had no idea who he was...

It was with the release of "CRWTH (Chorus Redux)" that I was first alerted to his music; that particular release from his shoegaze/ambient band "Lovesliescrushing" where Scott challenged himself to make an album made up entirely from samples of Melissa Arpin-Duimstra’s voice, abandoning his own unique trademark guitar work. This release is his first under his real name and it comes in the form of a 2 track collaborative 12" record on Three:Four with Thisquietarmy, a name I’m sure many of you are aware of. Eric Quach’s Thisquietarmy project is in name homage to Scott’s band "Lovesliescrushing" according to a recent interview. Perhaps this release would fall under the "dream collaborations" category for Eric then?

"Meridians" features 1 track per side of the record. Side A entitled "41° 52? 50? N, 87° 42? 39? W", the darker of the two pieces, begins with a rumbling low end sustain not too far from Sunn O))). Bass tones are definitely the prominent area of focus on this track. Higher pitched swells are brought in around 5 minutes into the piece; with a sharper texture they are very much in contrast to the thick fog of the other droning layers and they add a very hypnotic edge to the piece. As the piece slowly draws itself to an end, the bass tones become more subdued and the thick fog becomes a light haze. Initially I was slightly under whelmed by this track, but it has grown on me (in fact, it is highly mesmerizing and I now find my self listening to it on repeat as it’s near 13 minute duration flies by too quickly) it’s just that I felt it was a little bare at times and lacked a real crescendo of sorts that the fogginess seemed to be building up to.

"45° 30? 4? N, 73° 33? 29? W" the second and last track of the collaboration on Side B of the record, is much lighter in character and has a lot more going on in terms of texture and structure. Where as the first piece was mainly made up of droning low ends and sharp high end swells, this piece features intertwining melodic passages of enveloping warmth, sharp digital fuzz and beautiful distant distortion. This track is exactly what I was hoping for from the collaboration between these two projects; 13 minutes of blissful ambient shoegaze. The tones and textures created on this piece are sublime, reminiscent of shimmering sea water lapping against a breath taking landscape or bright sun glare through a frosted window. This track to my mind has 2 distinct sections. The first from 0 minutes to around the 6 minute mark, where it sounds as though we are listening to an under water bird song and the second section from around 6 minutes to the end, where the tide drops back and the birds rise from the water flying into the distant sun soaked sky. This is the crescendo I was waiting for.

This record is probably not an essential in the casual ambient fans record shelves, however fans of either (or hopefully both) artist will definitely want to get a hold of it, especially for Side B.