I was talking with a friend on New Years who was telling me about Ladybug Transistor having, or had a recording space somewhere near where I recently moved. So wouldn't you know it, going through some old 7" emails this week I came across this release on La Station Radar from the Garment District, a new project from Ladybug's Jennifer Baron. A massive extended play EP, each side clocks in at least seven minutes because these are expansive electronic tracks that needed time to slowly change and evolve into a completely different experience by the time you reach the end.
A-Side's "Nature Nuture" remixed by SONIC BOOM has a wavering in and out of phase sine wave loop, one of those almost grating saw sounds that rises and fades. I'm wondering if I should look up the original, but I'm going to just go sound unheard on this one. Stonger moog sounding melodies start to pick up over that now subtle loop. Real strong synth sounds that are strictly machine made in a stereolab style form the bleak landscape for Jennifer's cousin, Lucy's breathy vocal. The electronics chirp in like cicadas and completely take over for a moment until Lucy comes back, more up front this time, her doubled harmony even fuller, the vocal bigger. The multiple pieces of synth take turns fading in and out, the saw and chirping shrieks, rising out of this almost serene piece. All of this ends up fading away into drawn out bell sounds and distant old synth melody. There's a lot of weird experimentation when it comes to these harsh sounds and this comes off as real organic and ambient, even when it shouldn't.
B-Side's "Miraculous Metal" starts out with a harsh machine beat, those hissy high hats and slap snares, a heavy dance support for a building array of snths to work their way into sleigh bells and gradually more natural (?) sounds. It's a weird notion here to be working with extreme unnatural sounds and getting them to sound sympathetic. An instrumental for a sci-fi dream, maybe laser grids, or those two horizons in 2001 streaming out from one another.
"Vigor" up next really successfully combines sample loops into something bigger than itself. The rhythm of this far off wood block sound, counting off time under the stripped out pieces of dialogue and commercials is really compelling. There's clearly an amazing amount of thought here, what might have started out as a happy accident ended up refined into a tension filled two minutes.
Pick this up from La Station Radar who says:
The Garment District is the musical project of multi instrumentalist Jennifer Baron, a founding member of Brooklyn's "The Ladybug Transistor" (Merge).
Jennifer worked with legendary british musician/producer Sonic Boom
(spacemen 3, Spectrum, E.A.R) for the remix of her song "Nature-Nurture".
This 7" is featuring two news songs on the B-side.