High Aura'd / Blood Bright Star: Split 7-inch
Anti-Matter Records

At just over ten minutes in length, this split seven-inch release by High Aura'd (Massachusetts-based John Kolodij) and Blood Bright Star (Reuben Sawyer) leaves the listener wanting more. That's not entirely a bad thing, of course, though it does seem strange when a piece of music that one could easily imagine stretching out for a good twenty minutes is presented as a five-minute serving. But let's give thanks for what we're given.

On the A-side, Kolodij's “Remain in Light” merges field recordings of rain drizzle with guitars (pedal steel among them) and effects to generate a slowly swelling stormcloud of immense force. Sounds emanate from the track's hazy center, their identity obscured by the density of the mass, though wordless vocals by Glenna Van Nostrand form part of the meditative mix. While Kolodij eschews beats in his offering, Sawyer grounds the fretwork in “Golden Blood, Part II” with a raw motorik groove, its steady pulse an anchor for the multi-layered shudders and electrified, e-bow-styled expressions stretched across it. With a faint whiff of psychedelia rising from the material, the track smolders intensively for five, dreamlike minutes before flaming out.

Let's acknowledge Anti-Matter, too, for its commitment to quality presentation: the release houses a doublemint green vinyl disc within a black dust sleeve and hand-screenprinted gatefold jacket, and a complimentary download card for digital versions of both tracks is included, too. Good things sometimes do come in small packages.

October 2013