Thursday, April 29, 2010

Textura review of Love via Paper Planes

The Ghost of 29 Megacycles: Love Via Paper Planes
Sound & Fury Records

For some odd reason, I half-expected to hear a set of guitar-generated blaze when I put on Love Via Paper Planes by The Ghost of 29 Megacycles, a Perth, Australia-based trio featuring Karen de san Miguel, Matthew Aitken, and Gregory Taw. Maybe it had something to do with the stark blood-red photograph on the package or perhaps the My Bloody Valentine reference on the promo sheet. Regardless, the album's material is far closer in style to ambient dronescaping than shoegaze, as the group's debut full-length finds the trio serving up six long-form and miniature pieces in equally satisfying manner. The trio builds its sound using reverb-drenched layers of organs and guitars—drums and percussion conspicuously absent—and occasionally wraps a breathy vocal mass around it too.

For almost sixteen minutes, “The Cold Light of Silence” drapes de san Miguel's ethereal murmur over a beatific haze that turns even more church-like when the vocals drop out a dozen minutes in, leaving immense, cathedralesque chords to intone in their absence. In “Passing, Daydreams,” a shuddering and blurry mass quietly roars for eleven minutes, the chords of its melancholy song splintered into shards within the vortex. At the opposite end of the temporal spectrum, “Dusted” breathes shoegaze fire for a too-short three-minutes, while “True Love Will Find You in the End” catches one off-guard by ending the album with a shoegaze-&-country ballad (featuring near-buried vocals by producer Matt Rösner). Elsewhere, the stately title track and “We Are the New Romantics” ride blissed-out waves of crushing, guitar-based drift and distortion. A strong showing all around.

May 2010

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