Drafted By Minotaurs: Aversion Therapy

That Drafted by Minotaurs' Aversion Therapy is Infraction's first vinyl release is cause enough for celebration but what makes it even better is the high quality of the music. Abetted by guests (Colette Alexander, Carol Gray, Susie Pilzninski) who contribute cello and violin to the material, group members Ryan Wilson (guitar) and Ian Fulcher (trumpet, glockenspiel) generate dense webs of ambient soundscaping on the thirty-nine-minute recording. Aversion Therapy is appealingly old-school not only in its economical running time but in its formal design too, with side A presenting connecting pieces of contrasting character and side B a single, nineteen-minute opus.

The opening tracks form a three-part suite of sorts, with each flowing into the next. “Blueprints for Sunbuilding” opens the album strongly with a pastoral folk-classical setting where elegiac string playing is augmented by hand percussion instruments, primarily bells and glockenspiel. The brief “Sault Locks” functions as a placid interzone of guitar-generated clusters before “Skin the Night and Fog” weighs in with shimmering guitars and electronic treatments of initially turbulent and ultimately peaceful design. Fulcher's trumpet rides the waves of glimmering masses that course through the side-long “Sunday's Morning Ghost,” the piece in general more celestial in character than the material on side one. A sense of timeless flow haunts the languorous material, as tonal clusters of indeterminate character (vocal traces seem to appear but it's difficult to be certain when Drafted by Minotaurs blurs the elements into a huge, hazy mass) stretch out generously amidst percussive punctuations that dot the sonic landscape like rocks strewn across an endless desert. To its credit, Infraction spared no expense in the packaging of the vinyl release. Reminiscent of a deluxe ‘70s album release, the album's housed in a heavy gatefold sleeve and the music itself is pressed onto a slab of 180 gram vinyl. An exceptional release on both visual and sonic grounds.

January 2010