Kevin Drumm is a perfect symbol for the (rare) necessity of subscribing to a Bandcamp page. With a release schedule as busy as a lawyer’s agenda, the bearded dronelord keeps emanating beauty in copious doses. And I do mean “beauty”, not slam-bang superimpositions of digital delays. The sources may be unknown (or, at the very least, hard to trace), but the results are awesome more often than not.
So let’s not waste further time. In spite of what I just wrote, I came to Frozen Pipes by chance, while distractedly looking at some tweets by the Frozen Reeds label. Lucky coincidence; wondering if this 35-minute piece’s title represents some sort of respectful nod to Ian Fenton’s imprint. Not important, though. (*)
We’re straightaway encircled by a monolithic stratification of adjoining tones that indeed do resemble those of a pipe organ. We don’t know if that’s the truth, but what the hell. The magic lies in the “sloping” factor: in a trademark case of “gradual-as-a-slow-death” tonal shifting, what began as a relatively comprehensible (if humongous) chordal undercurrent becomes a complex system of gliding pitches whose richness in clashing upper partials equals its progressively dissonant lineament. It only takes a few minutes to remain completely subjugated by this impressive beast, which doesn’t need roaring to perplex and scare. The ascendancy of conflicting sound waves on a man’s mental motility has always been a sure thing, and it is confirmed in this occasion.
Before the track reaches its terminal section, the hypothetical organ has turned into a hundred of ancient airplanes spraying chemtrails of the beneficial kind. All of a sudden, the higher and louder frequencies disappear. One’s left with the minimum of subsonic activity needed to reflect – once again – about how pathetic we are. Especially when it comes to reporting on music that wants no nonsensical hypotheses attached.
(*) Mr. Drumm, a few hours later: “From Xmas Eve until New Years Eve the pipes in my apartment were frozen, no water for a week…so the title is literal!”