Holykindof – Stay / Sea (Eilean Rec, 2014)
A musical love letter from BJ Nilsen to Gavin Bryars, Holykindof's "Stay / Sea" touches base with music concrete – several whooshing reversed vinyl noises pervade the atmosphere; lo-fi drone – the entire three pieces encumber around a type of linear erosion; and mood aligned with lysergic pensiveness. Running to 40 minutes, the pace never feels laboured or forced toward a gear-shift. Yes, the atmosphere is rickety, thanks to the noisy-scratchy nature of the sound sourcing, but in general it's in third lever and never breaks a sweat, and doesn't cause you to perspirate.
The scratching is to an un-attuned ear disconcerting over time, whereby you need to have listened to enough other musics before listening to bypass its irregularity. It subsumes the languid cello playing stylishly and gives a welcome change to the landscape of otherwise 'regular' sound. In an age of wanton experimentation, where musicians continually gambit for a break from the ordinary, "Stay / Sea" is not oxymoronic of its title, being strong and steadfast like the waves of an estuary. It is rooted in traditional orthodoxy of instrumentation, yet contains an alien edge. This is due to its potent fixation quality of repeating chords. It is needed, in compositions that rely on the wealth of sublimative, subconscious mind-shaping harvest that pulsates from thought to action.
The shorter the track in this release, the less effective the results. The crop is always worthwhile, a melancholic cloaking device for the emotions. That dial alters in resonance every time you hear it. Like Bryars' "The Sinking Of The Titanic", "Nocturne In S Major" is ruthless in its intention and paints a sullen, purposeful backdrop to much-a-do-about-nothing periods. "Stay / Sea" turns in the covers of sleep like a coastguard watching the blue grass crash.