The first volume of the three:four records split series gathers two mesmeric drone guitar lovers, the newly arrived French project :take: coming from Paris and the Chicago based combo White/Lichens. Two different approaches of drone music: soft and melodic for :take:, loud and unbridled for the Chicagoans.
The A-side is composed of two :take:'s tracks. Paysage avec Fer evokes desert landscapes shaped by interlaced sine tone and minimalist guitar manipulation. It's a 5 min abstract guitar drone and epic effort. Joie de Résistance offers another side of :take:'s work. A bluesy guitar, melodic guitar patterns… The track ends with a repetitive beat leading to a hypnotic trance.
The B-side is a massive 10 min piece by White/Lichens. Tonight's the Night is a growing deflagration, powerful and loud. The intensity is magnified by a psyche reverbed guitar. Listening to it is as fascinating as waiting for a hurricane to come.
A1. :take: - paysage avec fer (5:15)
A2. :take: - joie de résistance (6:52)
B1. white/lichens - tonight's the night (11:20)
:take: - joie de résistance
":take: (real name Jérôme Boutinot) opens the first disc in a somewhat restrained mode with "Paysage avec fer" a twilight electrical drone where chattering electric guitar manipulations wrap themselves around a wavering sine tone. His second piece, the meditative "Joie de résistance" exudes a more natural feel in its focus on slowly unfurling guitar patterns before cresting with an entrancing shimmer in its later moments. Together the pieces offer a good introduction to Boutinot's explorative and open-ended :take: concept, which is rooted in guitar loops, reverb, samples, and improvisation.
The ten-minute "Tonight's the Night" by White/Lichens—a collaboration between kranky artist Lichens (Robert A.A. Lowe) and White/Light (Jeremy Lemos and Matt Clark)—takes sole possession of the B-side. In contrast to the relative quietude of :take:'s tracks, White/Lichens' piece unspools as a guitar-generated firestorm that grows increasingly tumultuous with each passing moment. Best played at loud volume, the blistering and scabrous track wails, screeches, and howls like a dying animal flailing about as it vainly struggles to escape the trap tearing into its leg." (Textura)
"Newly christened label Three: Four introduces its ambitious series of 10-inch splits with the joint guitar drones of :take: and White/Lichens. Frenchman Jérôme Boutinot, a.k.a. :take:, engulfs the A-side with two differing guitar compositions — both displaying the beauty and majesty still left in the stringed instrument. "Paysage avec Fer" drapes an ominous, throbbing drone over scattered notes of guitar, creating a 70s Star Trek vibe, as Kirk and his crew land on the surface of an alien planet and their gauges are reading off-the-chart levels of life as they inch close and closer to the dwelling of the living. "Joie de Résistance" is far more traditional, with gentle strokes and slides reminiscent of mid-90s Loren Connors, the difference being Boutinot fills up space with sweeping notes and plucked chords whereas Connors chooses to swallow notes in favor of showcasing silence.
The B-side is all White/Lichens, a trio formed by Lichens (Robert A.A. Lowe) and White/Light (Jeremy Lemos and Matt Clark). Both entities have found success with a string of spotlighted albums, but their combined talents produce a track as gnarly as it is breathtaking. "Tonight’s the Night" (not to be confused with the Neil Young classic) is an immovable wall of harsh distortion that builds itself up, brick by brick, never to be broken by the light of day. Should one ever need proof of the many splendors to be coaxed from six electric strings, Three: Four has built a fine example." (Tiny Mix Tapes)
In contrast to the relative quietude of :take:'s tracks, White/Lichens' piece unspools as a guitar-generated firestorm that grows increasingly tumultuous with each passing moment. Best played at loud volume, the blistering and scabrous track wails, screeches, and howls like a dying animal flailing about as it vainly struggles to escape the trap tearing into its leg.
Avec Joie de résistance on se rapproche de ce que l’on avait vu en concert : guitares claires, répétitive sur un plan, lentes évolutions mélodiques sur un autre, jusqu’à la jonction finale. Tonight’s the Night est un continuum, une seule et unique pièce dont chaque strate apparaît comme une suite logique.
mastering: jason ward at chicago mastering service.
photo: gaëtan seguin.
artwork: arnaud guillet.