Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ouija -Tropical Depression on Clan Destine Records

This single came into 7inches HQ via Carl from
Clan Destine Records out of the UK.
I imagine that photo of a barn/attic lit by Christmas lights is something of the studio for these solo recordings from Florida's Ray Cruz's project

The A Side 'Tropical Depression' is definitely home grown, hints of distortion throughout with the vocals mixed under everything. It's a sort of platform for Ray's trailing off, whine at the end of every verse. It's a kind of desperation, he's trying to keep his head above the fuzz. I keep coming back to Nirvana...and it's not an overpowering reference, you can't quite point to anything in particular...maybe it's just the vocal delivery, I literally hear 'Sappy', that kind of reluctant tone, it's all futile...these are the things you have to do, here's the instructions... but then just saying them out loud, it's not going to happen.
The second track 'Invisible Sex' then takes a few decade steps back into a tinny 60's garage sound, it's a different kind of space on this one, the low end is absent, and we're in a little bit more pop territory but the lyrics that you can catch still have that disassociated stamp to them, it's a scattered story, just a line from a situation mixed in with cliche's.
Don't they smoke alone / yea
Don't they talk a lot / yea
Don't they something
It just sounds like giving up, there's no fight left. This is the reality you're left with.

'Sarah Tonin' ... I just got that writing this. It starts out with a whisper until you lean in real close and Ray kicks on all the distortion pedals. The vocals even disintegrate by the end, I get the feeling he's trying to repeat his line 'History will never repeat' to see if it still carries any meaning as it fades into unintelligible sound. Is he trying to convince himself there's still something there? Repeating it to break it down.... but it seems to become another useless phrase. It will repeat itself, even in the song....it always does. This track is on
Clan Destine's facebook page.

'Go' might be related to Ty Segal's dirty distorted blues lines, Ray's using the simplest repeated scale to blow out the melody. It's made out of next to nothing and when you hit on a riff like this, you just stick with it. The vocals have an even west coast surf reverb and stylistically it even reminds me of NMH's 'Holland 1945', but it's brief, better to keep you wanting more. Any of these could easily be teased out, but he's got a lot to say but not a lot of time to do it at 45rpm.

It's a solid EP to keep spinning, totally consistent throughout, there's no throw away tracks nothing taking up space. Carl mastered the single himself for the label and it sounds great, there's nothing overdone about the grainy texture, it's enough to retain that immediate feel, the frantic tracking of instruments over and over. But the focus remains on these solid pop songs essentially...they're catchy without being....well let's say...happy.

You can check out more from the Clan Destine here on their blog...turns out they've got a split cassette with Cole from Dead Gaze...nice, glad someone decided to put more of his work out there... and on cassette even. Carl's got tons of posts about zines he's picked up and nods to a ton of other great labels releases and the occasional mix to download, as well as a ton more Clan releases I have to check out. It's great to see this NNF sensibility coming from across the pond, and I wonder how Carl found Ouija, but I'm glad he did.

Thankfully, the Clan (maybe I shouldn't shorten that) has stateside distro through 80/81 records, and I would definitely go pick this up.

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