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Nick Maturo and Ryan Connelly exploded out of Montreal last year with no less than 10 tapes of hazy guitar/synth drones. Just a Glimpse finds the duo experimenting with shorter edits and more diverse song-forms than their sidelong tape experiments. Picking a concept out of a jam and distilling it down to its purest part. Making feints and nods towards past heroes like Eno and Shulze but keeping pace with modern masters such as Tim Hecker and Emeralds.
Orchestrated by Debacle Records proprietor Sam Melancon, this split 12” between Portland’s Dewey Mahood, aka Plankton Wat, and Justin Wright, aka Expo ‘70, was opportune to say the least – he caught an interview with Mahood, who expressed interest in working with Wright, in the abstract, and stepped things up by putting the two in touch. Wright now performs in a touring trio and the recent shift in Mahood’s direction, since leaving Eternal Tapestry and settling into the stylistic direction of his Mirror Lake EP for Sound of Cobra, makes the timing of the collaboration even more appropriate, coming at a crux point for both projects. In execution, the two sides of the split acquire distinct characters; Wright’s work darker than Mahood’s organic compositions, despite any sense that pairing the two would yield overt similarities. Wright moves forward on loops, blistering drones, here and there a cascade of synths, while Mahood sets a less rigorous pace and offsets it initially with psychedelic eddies, plucked strings that reverberate through open space ricocheting off the edges of more densely packed drones. A more charged place to locate the meat of their collaboration, Wright’s explicit nostalgia acts as an oblique interrogation of agency in Mahood’s introspection Though the body of his songs are very different from Wright’s work, the two sections hinge effectively on Mahood’s first piece; an unintended bridge, before he immerses himself more fully in the depths of British folk rock. Together, the split reveals the substantial, dynamic energy that both men build into their music. Expo ‘70 continues to prepare new collaborations, while Mahood is preparing a new album, Drifter’s Temple, with Thrill Jockey — to be released September 17th.