The Trust Riots: Dead Heaven/Ampland

Plains: Into Tone

Material on Chris Jeely's Scarcelight label is never less than interesting and always worth a listen. The 3-inch disc by The Trust Riots' Chris Jeely and Mike Karadimos features nineteen minutes of noise, drones, and scrapes constructed from guitars, laptop and multiple tape players. Though Jeely and Karadimos share a mutual love for guitar feedback and affection for the spirit of early punk rock, the two tracks here (really one, as the first flows seamlessly into the second) more broil and simmer than explode. Strangulated guitars writhe and twitch against a backdrop of distorted murmur and spindly scrapings in “Dead Heaven” while “Ampland” rides a wave of droning hum for seven minutes. The Trust Riots' approach to guitar remains as unconventional and explorative as it is on Jeely's Accelera Deck recordings.

Recorded live at New Zealand's Version Festival on August 8th, 2004, Into Tone presents thirty-three minutes of soundscaping by Tim Coster (field recordings), Richard Francis (computer), Clinton Watkins (guitar), Paul Winstanley (electric bass, digital feedback), Mark Sadgrove (feedback, linuxCsound), and Rosy Parlane (guitar, computer). The sextet delicately nurtures the material's development throughout, with ghostly chords and faint voices rising from a crackling base. The quietly droning piece resembles what a microphone perched on the window ledge of a third floor apartment might record from the city below: footsteps, distant factory noises, birds, carriage rattles, rustlings, et cetera. The musicians' restrained sculpting calls to mind Afternoon Tea (Ritornell, 2000), a similarly explorative (if ultimately underwhelming) set of improvisations by Oren Ambarchi, Fennesz, Pimmon, Peter Rehberg, and Keith Rowe. Plains likewise opts for collective ambiance in place of the individuating stamp of the contributors' personal signatures.

November 2005