Compilations / Mixes
EPs / Cassettes / Mini-Albums / Singles
Snoqualmie Falls: Dream Sequence
As was mentioned in the textura review of Snoqualmie Falls' early 2014 EP Red Fire Dark (Cooper Cult), the project name chosen by the group's presumed members Jeff Stonehouse (aka jffstnhs) and Alicia Merz (aka Birds of Passage) derives from David Lynch's influential cult series Twin Peaks, with Snoqualmie Falls the actual location used for the show's Great Northern Hotel. Issued on the Perth, Western Australia-based Twice Removed Records, Dream Sequence, which proves to be as aptly titled as any title could possibly be, stretches the immersive, reverb-drenched style of the thirteen-minute EP into an uninterrupted, hour-long setting, with Stonehouse's blurry guitar-and-electronics soundsculpting once again augmented by Merz's ethereal vocal presence. And an ethereal presence she most assuredly is, given that she's featured all the way through yet only becomes clearly noticeable approximately eighteen minutes into the piece.
In its opening moments, field recordings also figure into the setting's design, with the quiet hum of insects establishing a nocturnal context for the work's unfolding. Intoning within a pillowy, vaporous mass of softly whistling tones is an ominous two-note motif that functions as a grounding undertow for the metamorphoses occurring above. In fact, the material mutates so gradually, its epic expansion into a blurry colossus occurs almost imperceptibly; what prevents that from happening is Merz's conspicuous entrance one-third of the way along, with her amplified whisper sweeping into position like a fog rapidly rolling in and enveloping everything around it. With all of its parts in place, the music appears to breathe like some enigmatic entity of immense scale, its unearthly rumble punctuated by whooshes, an occasional guitar twang, and the repeated ring of a muffled alarm sound.
Dream Sequence likely won't be followed by another long-form work, by the way, as Stonehouse and Merz reportedly are working on a more conventional, song-based album that, perhaps in the spirit of Red Fire Dark, will use many of the same techniques but served up in smaller amounts. For now, it goes without saying that the hour-long setting is best experienced with the shades drawn, the lights turned off, and the volume way up so that its hypnotic effect can be experienced in the fullest possible manner.