Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Hummingbird Dream review on Life is Noise

Melbourne-via-Perth droneniks Ghost of 29 Megacycles have followed up the moaning gauze of last year’s Love Via Paper Planes (which approximated Loveless by way of Kranky, sans rhythm section) with a dusky, Janus-like two-track release. While texturally unified, the two pieces seem wildly divergent in terms of ambition and purpose. The twenty-four minute Pt.1 is reminiscent of the group’s other drone explorations, on a more epic scale; however, the tones are a deal more sonorous and hi-res, shifting in delicate, shimmering swells. Ultimately, while being pleasant, luxuriant stuff, it struggles to justify its epic length.

The much briefer Pt.2 plays out like a more ambitious extension of the drone-based songcraft only previously skirted by the band. Featuring Erasers and Jane Harris, it’s an elliptical, sunken duet which demonstrates how fecund the pairing of Greg Taw’s sonics and female vocals can be, as well as reaffirming how adept he is at choosing his collaborators. Faintly resembling Low under a layer of static, Pt.2 aches towards a glacial breakdown which reaches a level of emotional depth and and clarity hitherto only hinted at by the project, somewhat reducing Pt.1 to an overlong prelude. Taken together, The Hummingbird Dream is a consolidation of what Taw has already proven he can achieve with traditional drone forms, as well as a taste of what he can achieve by transcending it.

By Alex Griffin

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