No Tracks In The Snow by Drekka

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Drekka | No Tracks In The Snow
Dais Records (LP/DL)

No Tracks In The Snow is Drekka, or Bloomington-based musician Mkl Anderson‘s compilation of “ritual ambient industrial” early works recorded between 1996-2002. This collection will be out on black as well as a super rare marble wax in case you had a preference. Since this is my first time through this material my lens is focused on the moment and Strika does not disappoint as an intro. Originally recorded for Vir, a lovesliescrushing side project, the whispers echoing from beyond the end of a long tunnel as this begins to purr are somewhere between an industrial shoegazer and the point of no return. In other words this is just plain luminous from the start.

As the record moves along I don’t necessarily feel the two decades between it and my sensibilities. It’s fairly timeless in its deployment of sketchy contortions and fluid jangles as come out on Approx. 6 Minutes (which is under four). There is a sense of wryness, of being, that comes through, however dusted with mellow discontent. It feels as though a jam session by Slowdive or Ride was interrupted by a busted Panasonic personal tape recorder at times. Elsewhere there’s this fluidity amid a subtle sense of dread (Instrumental 3). The guitar strings are not too dissimilar to the hollows of Billie Holiday’s flailing dulcet, heart-wrenching signatures. There’s an uncertain stillness in each setting Drekka fantasizes here.

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Thirty-Three Years Will Not Be A Long Time, with its broken chords, serrated effects and simplicity is quite devastatingly stunning in the light of a modern day lyric free punk-folk song. The scaled back strings on Christmas 1973 or 1974 are more like notes in a diary than anything even approaching a ballad, but his vocal has this foreshadowy omniscience that’s impossible to turn away from. The tremelo trips lightly into the ether, as this swells like a campfire. We end up with a most introverted take on the whole of humanity on We Who Are Not Lonely as Anderson strums soulfully to a dreamy croon that acts like drone, and expands like a passed down tale of modern day Confucius. The nearest (yet still distant) reference I can possibly make are some of the ‘tween works of Sonic Youth. This overflows with a dented emotional lustre and the squeaky wheel that takes us out with the obtuse Tracking Shot (Wide).

A truly stunning record, then + now.

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