Κυριακή, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2009

Vortex Navigation Company - Things Make Patterns As They Fall


Vortex Navigation Company is the duo of Salamander's Sean Connaughty and Wes Morden (sharing duties on guitar, vocals, and loops/fX), with various guests (mainly percussion), to a large part doing spontaneous improvisations in one or the other's basement 'studios.' "Green Pyramid" is an experiment in mild droney dissonance and spooky lead guitar - not bad for a start. One of the few composed numbers, "Holler" features peculiar extra-bassy vocals over a misty potpourri of acoustic guitar, cricket chirping, and Peter Hollis' organ. It's October and Halloween is almost here... perfect timing! As you can probably tell, the whole album is moody and (presumably) introspective, and "Europa" is perhaps the best result of this approach. Subtle mallet percussion (by Wivinus no less) works beautifully behind the tapestry of warm echoey sounds... hard to distinguish the synthetic loops from the guitars sometimes. Later in the 20-minute piece, it turns slightly grey and even more soupy...a mind-numbing bliss out. Perhaps you won't even notice the Little Drummer Boy making an appearance in the background. "Down in the Willow Garden" is a traditional folk ditty that Sean probably heard drifting across a plantation one day while time-travelling from his current Georgia home-away-from-home. The other VNC original composition is "The Welcoming River," an acoustic piece but is rather unsettling in a very intriguing way - probably my favorite track on the album. On a par with Roger Waters' better dark-toned works anyway. 'Things' wraps up with another lengthy echo-drone work "Flying Low over Green Hills" that builds towards a freak-out climax and then a gradual easing off. All in all, this album is a pretty nice collection of things to lighten your spirit even as it darkens the skies overhead.

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