Wreaths: Like Sparks From Throats Falling
Under The Spire

Wreaths' Like Sparks From Throats Falling presents fifty-four minutes of rough-hewn drones of somber and becalmed character smothered in an omnipresent blanket of hiss. No instrumentation is identified though we're informed that everything on the album was “played and recorded to tape on decaying equipment by Michael R Donaldson.” Nevertheless, guitars, strings, electronics, and field recordings of outdoors sounds are heard in the album's eleven pieces, and consequently one might describe Wreaths' sound as being like Library Tapes sans piano (with one exception), as both artists share an affinity for dusty and decaying sounds in their respective productions. The closing piece “Cervine” brings their respective orbits into even stronger alignment when simple piano progressions ease the album out on a stately and heartfelt note.

During the appropriately submersive opener “Nautical Almanac,” a sustained drone drifts unhurriedly across a sea of hiss, the mood peaceful and becalmed; an entirely different natural setting is alluded to when “Through Winter On Foot” pairs the leisurely flow of electric guitar picking with a vaporous backing. In “O Like Falling Snow,” slow patterns of string plucks create tentative lilting rhythms alongside the sawing drone of bowed strings, while groaning strings assume an even more raw and decaying character during the brooding “‘This Has Become a Trouble…'/Fallen Buildings Falling.” Listeners familiar with the ambient-drone soundscaping genre won't by mystified by what they hear on Like Sparks From Throats Falling (though they might puzzle over why “I Mean I'm Not Complaining, I'm Just, You Know…” is split into two indexed tracks of identical duration) but, in contrast to the saying, familiarity, in this case, most certainly doesn't breed contempt.

November 2010