Century Plants "Circular Spaces, Vol. 1" (Tape Drift, 2008).
Review from FOXY DIGITALIS:
I have to admit that Century Plants is one of those outfits that I’ve been hearing quite a bit about, yet I haven’t really checked them out until picking this one up from Eric Hardiman’s (half of Century Plants) Tape Drift label. This one starts out with a lo-fi psych guitar duet that hovers in swirling meditative drones, teetering somewhere between tranquility and ecstasy, maintaining this rewarding tension throughout its eight plus minutes. The second track takes a similar approach, but lingers in more of a peaceful, melancholic mood. Track three takes this machine somewhere else entirely. Space perhaps? The guitars are still there, but the recognizable guitar tones recede into the background and allow these other, more processed sounds present themselves, creating a complex and layered orchestration of other-worldly. It’s as though Hardiman and Ray Hare transmitted the first two tracks to themselves from millions of miles away receiving them in bits and pieces, broken up and reassembled over and over during the course of the broadcast, creating something completely new and different, yet familiar. The third track is where this release really succeeds. The layered sounds feel completely deliberate yet somehow simultaneously spontaneous. The first two pieces are interesting in the mood they create, but aurally they lack something. They have a very live and improvised feel to them, evoking a specific time and a place. This can work incredibly sometimes, but here it leaves me wishing I was there where I could really be enveloped in the sounds being made and feeling almost cheated that I wasn’t- a live sound that only really be experienced live and in person. The recording just isn’t quite doing it justice. That said, I really appreciate the feeling that the first two tracks inhabit, and I am really impressed by the meditative drones created by the two guitars. Looking at the release as a whole, the first two tracks are crucial in reaching the transcendent, nearly twenty minute third track. That’s what this whole release is about for me, and that is what will keep me coming back to it. 8/10 -- Joe Beres (10 June, 2009)
released January 1, 2008
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