Tricorn & Queue
Stunned Records; 2008
Continual Passage is another helping of dream-like drones from duo Tricorn & Queue, this time out on one of my new favorite new labels, Long Beach, CA’s Stunned Records.
With this tape they continue with the same crystal synth vibes found on their older releases. Here, though, they are roughed up a little by sundry scrapes and hisses. What sounds like field-recordings of wind drift in and add texture to the little loops of clear tones that have characterized their previous work. The drowsy, lilting pieces bleed into each other, occasionally cutting out and drifting underneath the environmental cracks and pops. The clouds of delicate drones make a gorgeously impenetrable haze – transcendental little soundscapes that are somehow as simple as they are dense.
Though the most apt descriptor for this lovely, ethereal tape is ‘otherworldly,’ with the gradual fluctuations, the age-damaged field recordings, and occasional rolling chimes and bells the tape maintains a rather organic, human feel.
But unlike lots of drone-based music, this piece becomes much more than its process – the actual instruments have been transformed into pure, indeterminate sound. Each piece is so smooth that there is very little to hold onto as the little streams of sound drift by, which only drives one to listen over and over again.
This is a true gem of a tape and one of the best I’ve heard in the last few weeks.