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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

SubVersion Stop 174: Pelt - Effigy (MIE Records, 2012)

Pelt, on "Effigy" hold candle to since 2009 departed guitarist, Jack Rose. It's a work that looks at the vulnerability of human consciousness, as for one the first piece I don't like at all - but it's only one piece. Strings seethe with directional polish of peanut butter toothpaste, in disharmony with the LP's base spread: transgressive drone-Folk. The second, "Wings Of Dirt" is totally different, positively - soothing, Folksy, rhythmically svelt, and a starting of much more harmonic watering on the lawn of "Effigy", effigy being mounds of grass accumulated over long periods of time, in historic counterbalance to a myriad of events.

This Pelt record was released in October 2012, a time when I had reviewed Mindspan - "The Aeon Expanse" for Fluid Radio. A time, consequentially, when lots of (heart)beat driven music was edging into crop on its own mound, with Ambient hardy perennial. Pelt's music, besides the first (un)tune, is best described as adapting the furnishings of musique concrete, then playing a cold call on itself within a context of new friends (instruments, tunings and technical 'smithery) in its ongoing duration. Virtuosity of the instruments such as piano ("Last Toast Before Capsizing" is all lower pitched hamming on the keys, in undulating microcosm motions) and guitar (the epicentric part), with harmonium channelled like barred MMA heat, racking up the energy and gets the percussion to interweave an almost Turkish-y tone. "Spikes And Ties" as the third, begins to converse near to Cindytalk but doesn't go further - it sounds like it belongs in an Improv workshop rather than a fully-realised record. "Spikes" is no description for stasis, but maybe "Ties" is. 

For being tied to Pelt's "Effigy" is the trying task. It feels wracked with a very conscious pain, and at one hour 42 minutes in length it's unlikely to hold together as a focused work for many. I've listened three times, and while rudiments like "Ashes Of A Photograph" make me want to listen to it again, the point in masked: it neither expands in really impressive fantasised fashion from previous Pelt, nor works as a full album. Maybe I'm being too harsh - I'm sure the first track has much to do with it - but as a whole "Effigy" sounds like a missed opportunuty. Sorry guys.

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