Better to Give by Naps

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Naps | Better to Give
Gertrude Tapes (CS/DL)

Philly-based Naps (Jason Calhoun) has just released his new album on tape, Better to Give. From the very start (Blind), these five tracks come with a glowing ambient soft texture that sounds like its buffering amid bright spot tones and some granular low end hiss. The tape is in an edition of only fifty copies and is relegated to this interesting, practically redacted collage for its j-card cover. As the delicate breeze blows through the atmosphere is dotted with the faintest movements, quite hallucinatory.

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As the recording presses on the adaptation of birdsongs begin to permeate the space. Breezy and a little numbing as a sustained chord is held against some urban street sounds Treading doesn’t fly far from its central drone until about three-quarters through when a molting melody begins to elapse. The tracks all flow well into one another, even when the slightly erratic breathing apparatus is de/attached via To Give. The flow is somewhat claustrophobic in its melancholic deterioration.

The brightness in tonality is lifted some on Each Year, again with a continuous polyphony, like a horizonline. Better to Give delivers a warm n’ fuzzy sensation of contentment, especially here, even with the most minute of microsound actions, by far the most minimal piece of the set. Lastly, No Heat has a slightly more industrial bent, just slightly. But if you listen close it could either be mistaken for an open mic recording of the underside of a conveyor belt, or an everlasting, tireless pipe organ chord. The tiny percussive tapping and spare sound effect make the second half of this ten-minute slowly veering soundscape worth sticking around for.

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