DNT Records; 2008
The kids of Haunted Castle have dusted off their Uneven Universe banner for this release, but the jams here sound like they might have emanated from an actual haunted castle.
The A side blends a tumbling, regurgitated hum with sounds of gurgling water, but that swirling bed of sound is quickly overthrown by shrieks of feedback. The eerie howls of a hotly mic-ed saxophone penetrate the din, exploding in brief bursts of far-out free jazz skronk. While, at first, this piercing sound is more than a little offsetting, it slowly begins to develop and draw the listener back in.
With the use of the water sounds and dissonance, Uneven Universe are summoning the same sort of vibes as the Nevari Butchers tape from earlier last year. But here it isn’t oppressive – it’s almost welcoming. The side is sparse at times, allowing the sax sounds to really stretch out, heaving and flailing as they are overcome with delay. The wonderful thing is that, between each bleat, you can hear those plaintive wails fade out into an infinite silence.
The B side picks up with more lonely sax calls, but here they’re kept on a tight leash, constantly being sucked back into the din by waves of distortion and effects. As the dark, watery electronics bubble and stagnate, the sax squals struggle to push through the murk of clicks and electronic gargle. With the nautical sounds going on, the sax starts to sound like the lonely call of a fog horn and the churning electronics like the engine of a overworked tugboat.
This is a really solid release that nails a very specific, desolate vibe. It’s also a great peek into what’s going on in the scene if you’re not really into harsh “noise” releases. Released in an edition of 100 with the amazing artwork we’ve come to expect from the folks at DNT Records.