Just in from Soft Abuse is this single from Pigeons, who are apparently just north of 7inches central in the Bronx. An overlooked borough for sonic weirdness I have to say. The number of artists that flocked there in the past few years for huge cheap spaces to build out has just been growing...sorry but those years in Brooklyn are long gone. Have I been up there then? Not really. It's too far...and there isn't a music venue anywhere near there as far as I know, but give it a few years when Brooklyn is what the east village is now and the east village is fallen back into a homeless shanty town and the Bronx is where you want to be.
So it makes perfect sense I'd hear of an act from this area where future Silent Barns are every other corner and this endless 4 song EP is playing at 33. After spinning the first side for a while, I haven't even flipped it over yet. Both of these tracks are taking their sweet time, slowly preparing you as things get weirder and weirder.
The first track 'Tendresse' (go check out the download below) uses the tremolo warble from an old tube amp and Wednesday's (great name) ethereal layered foreign (?) vocals, it's headed into some kind of Blue Velvet territory. High and in trouble. Tambourine with the restrained tom only beat makes this just barely crawl. I think it's safe to say this is in the Velvets family of reinterpreted slowcore-psyche sound. When the wavering guitar is gone, you'll miss it.
The second track on this single, 'Lowest' is where things start to really get weirdo, the vocals become another high pitch peaking sound alongside a heavily delayed reverb guitar, the two start two play off each other...there's no beat to be concerned with, there's nothing to hold onto here, you're clinging to the simple electric strumming behind the main melody, but it's all blasted through a far away AM radio speaker in the back of the warehouse. The delay screams just a little bit after the first round of vocals and it's impressive, what a sound. This high sustained vocal and overblown note just hitting the same blaring frequency...unsettling. My favorite.
Finally over to the B-Side for 'Oubli', and I see what Siltbreeze was talking about, a pretty loose mix of saxophone over heavy drums, some meandering guitar lines, barely audible screams and yells from Wednesday...but all of these tracks are held down by those steady drums...a staple of that drone, freakout, psyche, the pulse to work out against the experiments.
Finally 'Cruel Circumstance' could almost be a late 90's 4-track tape. Vocals all close to the mic, drum machine heavy on the treble, acoustic guitar. It's a weird 13th Elevator shoegaze or something. It's a lot like this blown out cover, zoom into a grainy polaroid and crop away the context, don't color correct...this isn't exactly reality....more like finding something you didn't originally see. It's distinct in the end, and there's something a little off just under the surface.
According to an old Siltbreeze post, they have existed previously as Pigeons II, more freeform noise, sound collage on a release from Clark Griffins own Moran Tape Label, an ultra limited, Peter King handcut lathe advocate.
Leave it to the great Soft Abuse from Minnesota to point out this thing happening right in my backyard.
One time pressing of 400, get it from the Soft Abuse site...I'm working on more words about some of their other singles and full length stuff, great packaging and a slew of new ideas...Tim and Eric would say 'Great job!'
01. Tendresse [mp3}
02. Cruel Circumstance
Pigeons make sublimely blasted / incredibly hallucinogenic songs from their base up in Bronx, NY. The trio of Wednesday Knudsen (in disguise on the sleeve), Clark Griffin and Carter Thornton have been active for a few years, releasing miniature-run cassettes and lathe cuts for Griffin's sub-underground Moran Tape Label that dealt in skronk, warp & mystery. Their wayward song-based creations are just as ambitious, melding dissonance, crude electronics & chanson pop . The pop element in their tunes, fully introduced on their brilliant Virgin Spectacle LP, firmly rests as the oddest element in the mix. Connections to the No Neck / Sound @ 1 crew & The Sea Donkeys exist, but Pigeons are wholly on their own plane. Lunettes, their first release since Virgin Spectacle, features four new song creations, arrives in lieu of their forthcoming LP Si Faustine (to be released by Olde English Spelling Bee), and provides a notion of what they're moving towards. - Soft Abuse