Original Past Life | Inference/Interference
Tone List (DL)
Out from the Perth-based Tone List imprint come January 29th is the latest from improvisational trio Original Past Life titled Inference/Interference. By combining subtle and abstract traditional drums and stringed instruments with bleary-eyed, drone-drenched electronics they come off like a distant cousin of Canadian powerhouse ensemble, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. But their sound is far more distilled and cautiously laidback, at least on the opener, Infinity. They experiment with levers, gears and a bit of well-rounded far-flung way out jazz raucous with effect interruptions galore. Though when they find sweet balance in the dusty abstraction that is Wire Fatigue the listener will feel trapped between an old school Western and an agitated shoegazer.
Though their promo shot may be playful, their overall sound is demanding and at times slightly tedious, in that for improvisors they seem extremely well adjusted to developing an atmosphere of oblique curiosities. The centerpiece here being Weave Dreamer that plays out for eleven minutes of turbulent rev and circumstance. It’s a moody, ambitious and driven recording only partially disguised with a delightful, mysterious tonality spiced, in particular, by the cosmic drumkit of Michael Caratti. Though all three players (including Warwick Hall and Adam Trainer) deserve plenty of credit for laying down strings and electronics, playing with such agility as a unit, with the precise skillset that seems to allow each other to break through any standards set forth herein or elsewhere.
Serpentiform is a striking short track of hiccups and granular synthesis, perfectly programmed amid gray areas. It teases of early Basic Channel or one of the several offerings from Raster-Noton back in the day. They end with Omiyage, a work of solitude with recessed features. Completely stripped back to bare ambience and a trickle of percussion it is pretty much a watercolor flowing upon your eardrums. They add a few colorful strings for good measure, and the twang brightens the melodramatic setting. With mild craggy feedback they slowly put this to bed until a sudden front camera flash goes off by mistake. Good night, sleep tight…..