Princes of obscurity

Wax Tablet 
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  July 25, 2013

waxtablet_uayenohcrycry_mai 

If your friends walked in on you listening to Space and Order, the new ambient drone album by mysterious Portland artist Ua Yenoh Cry Cry, any number of interesting things might happen. Some would ask what you’re on, and if they could have some. Others would feel an immediate charge in the lower chakras and ask to lie down. Some would blush. Who knows — one of the best traits of noise is that it throws out the script. Ua Yenoh Cry Cry is certainly noise in the denotative sense — songless, roaming, more physical than mental — but it isn’t harsh, and doesn’t aim to offend. Some might describe this type of stuff as “mindbending” or “psychedelic,” but we actually hear a very clear mind at work. There is some dub influence, definitely some Tony Conrad-ish swells of pure intonation. Two forlorn and distant riffs dance with each other in “Yman Oum Ntains.” “Mama” is pure patience in the realm of madness. And “Honey” is merely a collision of low-fi frequencies, the higher end looped in a staggering melodic half-step. When it outlasts its staticky counterpart, the effect is resolutely gorgeous. The pleasures of Space and Order are simple and largely ineffable. Find out who your real friends are with Ua Yenoh Cry Cry at their label page: orilarecords.bandcamp.com.

If you blinked recently, you possibly missed the birth of the electronic drone wave scene. It has emerged, and it doesn’t wish to be called pretty. Chateau Mirage is a side project of Awaas’s Zack Howard, much poetic incantation and antisocial hissing over minimalist beats and guitars. Late efforts include a collaboration with Jesse Gertz, who loves pop, on an EP titled Mirage a Trois. Gertz’s prowess with a synth hook and a drum machine pairs well with Howard’s charisma and dramatic fixations. There’s a future here (a dark one). Then there’s Afraid, the alias Jakob Battick morphed into when he disbanded his rural folk outfit a few years ago. He scored goth legend Jarboe, longtime Swans vocalist, to lend her vocals for a take on a new single “Sisters Forever,” and this month brought to light a killer video for the B-Side, “Your Dealer in Heaven,” a trippy, obsessively psyched-out R&B jam. Visit soundcloud.com/chateau-mirage and afraid.bandcamp.com for the goods.

  Topics: New England Music News , Afraid
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   HITTING THE WRONG NOTE RIGHT  |  July 24, 2014
    Sunset Hearts' unique Kickstarter campaign, and Bully Mammoth's burly new EP
  •   FUTURE ROCK  |  July 16, 2014
    Choice words on Nunchuck Gun, S/H/A/R/R/P/S, Colleen Clark, and Kristina Kentigian
  •   DISTANT REVERIES  |  July 10, 2014
    News and sounds from the Reverie Machine, Lunch Cult, and Skylark Sisters
  •   CAVE PAINTINGS  |  June 25, 2014
    Wax Tablet
  •   THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DAM’D  |  June 11, 2014
    Dam Jam, Zud, Pigboat, Vinyl Cape, and more.

 See all articles by: PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF