In the moment when I’m deciding if some of my ancient vinyls should be sold or kept gathering dust and must, it’s perhaps ironic that a cassette release featuring artists working with samples and turntables as primary constituents reminded me of the evocative charm of sounds combined and deformed until near-incomprehensibility.
Sheffield and Rippie operate at the margins of that critical area where the heavy processing of a given source can either increase a music’s momentum, or just turn it into commonplace. In this case, the source in question is a series of not better specified “commercial recordings” utilized in an improvising context. After the couple’s manipulations the resulting matters are reminiscent of feverish visions, unconquerable phobias, unjustified excitement. And, needless to say, they prepare us to the crash landing caused by countless broken illusions.
This notwithstanding, colors and reverberations are still warm enough to build a comfortable milieu for the willing listener. There’s beauty in here, as distorted as it may be. Piano ghosts, grimy hissing and reverse harmonies form a misrepresentation of reality replete with stretched-and-warped instrumental wakes. In those places one can discover new levels of knowledge while getting completely lost in entrancement. Nothing is vulgar or overly invasive: you can choose if acting as a detached observer, or go further and being entirely seduced by the cross-pollination of reiteration and awkwardness.
At any rate, a few hours with Essential Anatomies are definitely recommended.