The Preservation label presents Reflections of Most Forgotten Love, the third album from Los Angeles’ Deep Magic. The solo project for current Sun Araw live band member Alex Gray, Deep Magic’s work has tended towards a meditative ambient realm, crafting a cosmic sound described by Uncut as having “a sort of calm and organic grandeur that recalls Popol Vuh.” Indeed like Popol Vuh, pursuit of a kind of spiritual grace has proven to be the measure at the heart of Deep Magic. Reflections of Most Forgotten Love finds a new urgency, an ever-shifting puzzle of sound that breathes vital new life into Gray’s lyrical vision. Dynamic and unrelenting, yet somehow beautifully spacious and patient in its unfolding, this epic work thrives on equal parts pulse and poise, an essence held within a thrilling multiplicity of ideas. Skittish techno, rolling pianos, warm pedal steel, foggy dub drifts and microscopic sonics play out a hypnotic movement of moods with magnetic compulsion. Throughout its stirring, blissful way, intimacy is its keynote. As the title suggests, this is an album of emotively raw presence with a singular take on solitude as a many-splendored thing.
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The Preservation label presents Grandfather Harmonic, the new full-legnth album from Sparkling Wide Pressure. The alter ego of Murfreesboro, Tennessee’s Frank Baugh, Sparkling Wide Pressure has drawn from a seemingly infinite well of sonic inspiration to record at an incredible rate since 2008, having his work appear on labels such as Digitalis, Stunned, Housecraft and Students of Decay.
This transfixing entry into his weighty catalogue pinpoints Baugh’s increasing fascination with song forms couched within abstract spaces. These mesmeric pieces revolve on a constant teetering between melody and abrasion, sharing kinship with classic post-punk primitivism as much as today’s field of synth-wielding trance phasers.
Through layered synth tones that uncoil like long, clear breaths and hypnotic percussion, pivotal to the essence of Sparkling Wide Pressure is Baugh’s rangy guitar playing. Baugh can execute walls of enveloping ambience to encompass soft, gentle ruminations laced with smoky mood and subterfuge or take a more urgent tone, forging an otherworldly pulse that never loses the visceral thrill and pull that proves the magnetic core of this work.
Thematically, Grandfather Harmonic revolves around Baugh’s connection to his childhood home deep in the woods of in rural Tennessee and memories of his grandfather, specifically the rich tones of the harmonica he once played. In its own curious, searching way, Grandfather Harmonic is a remembrance of place and time from a truly atypical imagination.
Released on CD in April 2012. Limited to 300 copies.