worriedaboutsatan: Shift
Wolves & Vibrancy Records

These days Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale typically issue worriedaboutsatan productions on their own This Is It Forever imprint. But when Fabian from Wolves & Vibrancy Records contacted the duo about the possibility of working together, the duo agreed to release something on the Mannheim, Germany-based label—except for one problem: having just put the finishing touches on an album they'd been working on, Miller and Ragsdale had nothing available to offer.

Yet what at first might have seemed a complication proved fortuitous when the duo retreated to their rural Yorkshire studio to see what might come from some musical ideas they had kicking around, with Shift the twenty-five-minute result. Laid down over two semi-improvised sessions and issued as a semi-transparent, green-coloured twelve-inch (digital also), the EP's two single-take pieces represent the first recorded output from worriedaboutsatan since 2016's Blank Tape full-length.

The fourteen-minute opening part sees the duo operating in dark ambient-drone mode when a thick synthetic cloud of black dust rolls across a muscular base of stripped-down bass drum and hi-hat patterns. Highly evocative, the material oozes cinematic suggestiveness in its dramatic soundtrack-like character and oozes melancholy too, even when the collective elements swell into a controlled, shoegaze wail. Emerging from a bed of crackle and noise, the slightly shorter B-side quickly shifts the focus to an intense, Tangerine Dream-styled sequencer pattern the duo lashes with dramatic noise flourishes and smears with deep bass washes and reverb-drenched melodic fragments.

There's a sense of immediacy to both productions that makes them feel as if they were freshly made and quickly readied for mass consumption. Consequently, Shift makes a strong case for spontaneity when it sounds so free of laboriousness and overthinking.

February 2018