Andrew Weathers / Ancient Ocean
(Rubber City Noise)
The disparate strands of rustic Americana and lulling ambient atmospherics are tied into a singular entity on this split cassette from Andrew Weathers and John Bohannon as Ancient Ocean. The two prove to be a fitting pair as each artist documents the various ways quiet drones and slowly unfurling acoustic guitar notes can combine. There are subtle differences in their approaches, as Weathers is more prone to feature fluid melody while Ancient Ocean builds a base of looped repetition for his dew-coated guitar figures to take hold. However, both sides of this 43 minute tape go a long way toward establishing the promise of this subgenre that seemingly owes just as much to Sandy Bull as it does Brian Eno. – Ryan Potts, Experimedia
Mike Shiflet / Joe Panzner
Recollect / Reconstruct
Mike Shiflet and Joe Panzner are no strangers to each other’s work, having collaborated for years under the Scenic Railroads moniker (if you haven’t heard their self-released split with Raglani from several years back you’d do well to seek it out). Indeed, Panzner and Shiflet share a similar creative ethos (Panzner has guested on and mastered a few of Shiflet’s solo releases), favoring coruscating drones and extreme digital detritus as compositional tropes. For their RCN split, Shiflet fires first - offering up a longform drone likely sourced from guitar and recalling very much his recent outings for Type. Monochromatic, overdriven guitar drones surge and accumulate more high-end detail over the course of the piece, finally cresting and blooming into shards of white-hot sonic shrapnel. Panzner’s piece functions in precisely the inverse manner, beginning with flailing, downright ugly wails of noise which grow sparser, more subdued and, ultimately, fade away. A well suited split indeed. - Alex Cobb, Experimedia
"Thawing" is straight-up bonkers. And I mean that in the best possible way. This is the first solo effort from Cane Swords’ & RCN Co-Founder Karl Vorndran and it’s fantastic to say the least. "Thawing" is an exquisite dichotomy of chaos and control as Vorndran takes a multitude of disparate, combative ideas and somehow manages to fit them together in a way that not just makes sense, but adds even more weight to the proceedings. Vorndran’s emphasis is on modular synthesis. Each piece of music flows perfectly into the next, turning the tape into a complex web of fried circuitry and sonic shrapnel. Feedback loops devolve into scowling, electronic drones that drill deeper and deeper into your brainwaves until bizarre, disjoineted rhythms drop in from nowhere to run interference. What I love most is how Vorndran’s takes structural compositions and dials them in to the point where they start to fall apart. In those passages he’ll go off in weird, snarling improvised tangents that somehow, eventually, bring it all back home. He does an incredible job at showing how just how blurry the line between structure and discord is and that, in reality, they both work best in conjunction. This is a stellar debut and easily one of my favorite tapes of 2012 so far. - Brad Rose, Experimedia
Listen to “Bound and Folded” from Karl Vorndran’s new tape Thawing, available to buy from RCN Recordings on April 14.
Listen to Ancient Ocean’s “Seneca” from the new Andrew Weathers / Ancient Ocean split cassette, available to buy from RCN Recordings on April 14.
Hopefully lost dreamscapes rife with broken strings, disembodied ethereal voices, multi-dimensional logic. Behind the veil, a constant breath, steering you home.