Drophead vs. Silent Land Time Machine – From Ashes Comes the Day

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Drophead vs. Silent Land Time Machine

From Ashes Comes the Day

14 October 2014 (Holodeck)

By Patrick DeBonis

Eric Craven and Jonathan Slade are both renowned experimental artists in their respective cities of Montreal and Austin that have come together to deliver an unbounded piece of unrest and disorder.  Craven, who works under the solo title of Drophead, brings with him years of experience of drumming and creating percussion, while Slade contributes his expertise of vocals and viola to make something that cannot seem to be defined by the sum of its parts.  Both men are highly regarded in the experimental music communities that they are based out of, with Slade being the co-founder of Holodeck records.  Between them, their range of musical releases and nature left a vast playing field to knit together into a true monstrosity.

A borderless beast lifts its head in the ever-changing destruction of comfort.  The moment before any sort of sound or idea can settle enough to take root in memory it is gone.  Whipped away by decaying strings and a concoction of unrecognizable instruments slathered in reverb and distortion.

Music rarely gives the impression of being alive, but Craven and Slade have reached a kind of unsuspecting spontaneous development that gives the impression of a living-breathing animal.  The ideas of chaos and improvisation are far from new especially in the realm of ambience and noise; what makes From Ashes Comes the Day stand out is how direct yet undetectable the change is.  It is not spontaneous in a sudden or irregular way, but almost more instantaneous.  Each new change or development moves with the eerie grace of a snake slithering through the grass or the ever-changing angle of a birds wings.  A pattern might exist but it is one with room for a natural error much greater than a musician has.

The beauty of From Ashes Comes the Day lies in the distance between Craven and Slade.  The two men created the album on separate sides of North America from each other, but manage to give the impression of being shoulder to shoulder the whole time.  This relationship represents how the internet has affect every type of music possible, and has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in collaborating.

Craven and Slade’s effort falls under the small but important category of music that is defined by the emotional impression it leaves rather then by how it sounds because the music itself is too fluid to occupy the mind in tangible form for long.  Listening to From Ashes Comes the Day is like having a bucket of ice water dumped on your head.  You soon dry, but the cold feeling remains in your bones.

Rating: Liked It

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