review

Heathen Harvest

This split album, between :Take: and White/Lichens is the first release in the split series by the label Three:four. A quick search reveals that :Take: is a solo project of Jerome Boutinot, a Paris-based Guitarist, and White/Lichens is a collaboration between Lichen and White/Light. Another insight about this release is that although Three:four is a vinyl/MP3 label, what I am holding in my hand is promo CDr with a cover that does not look any different from the Vinyl cover. I really appreciate that even though I know not everyone can afford such effort on a promo copy.

Each of the musical acts offers one side (speaking about the Vinyl) and about 12 minutes of music. :Take: begins with a low, high pitched drone that sounds at first like a delicate, almost romantic illustration of the sore ear drum. :Take: then adds more and more tiny details to this spine, with the small sounds giving life to the long drone. :Take:'s work is accurate, and suddenly it appears that what sounded like a one note drone have become a full breathing creature without me noticing the transfiguration. It ends with the music almost talking to the listener. A great track.

"Joie de resistance" is another fine moment, with the guitar beginning from a short and heart warming loop, developing then to a much more complex set of sounds of infinte loops around infinte other loops. Boutinot slowly plays a main guitar line that gives life to the beautiful ornaments around, ending in a cathartic feedback and ending with no warning.

White/Lichens offer one long track that gives a more threatening impression from the second it starts. Like a waking beast, a gasping low breathes slowly shapes into a guitar drone that grows deeper and louder. White/Lichen manage to keep the incoming, piercing drones both deep and spacey at the same time, and halfway through "Tonight's the night" it is a super massive black hole of a swirling sounds and storming overtones. This blizzard fades into a reverbed guitar squiz and manages to get an even higher point and sharper edge after the noise peak. When it get closer to the end, as if the music is aware of its impending end, the shrieks become powerful again before they die into a pulsating bass drone and bringing the monster to rest.

A great release by Three:Four and a great work of all collaborators. Efficiently showing two sides (no pun intended) to drones, from the delicate and precise moments of :Take: to the powerful wave of White/Lichens. A great vinyl release!