blue thirteen C30
Blue Tapes, 2014
The UK’s Blue Tapes cassette microlabel (that now also serves vinyl, books, and film!) has steadily released noteworthy releases in small batches, each capturing wildly inventive takes on diverse genres. Acapella death metal, sound art, rock improv and whatever fits between, they’re always up to something interesting and always worth a listen, even if they end up being a bit of a novelty or one of those “challenging” listens you partake in when the mood is right. Their description of this mysterious Estonian duo links their expansive rock noise sound to the most focused LP from the long-running UK group Skullflower, IIIrd Gatekeeper, and holy fuck does it ever deliver on that promise. Starting from that sonic reference point, this 5-song (a solo track by each artist and 3 collaborations) tape stretches buzzed riffs into hypnotic, transcendent sounds that twist, turn, and drift for just over 30 minutes of blissed-out heavy psych. This link is not really a reference to Skullflower as much as a mark of quality on par with the greatness of that essential album, or the sublime quality of Skullflower’s 15-minute mind-melting “Diamond Bullet” from Obsidian Shaking Codex, a track so expansive that it could almost be its own genre. If you like your noise rock to push beyond the predictable and formulaic trappings of the form, prepare to meet this true form destroyer.