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Island Records

Gibson, Ernest

Island Records

Skrot Up
LP $13.50

11/26/2013  

SUT 91 


***From the sun-bleached groves and terminal beaches of the Southland comes ERNEST GIBSON’s (NET SHAKER) debut LP—a weathered, mysteriously adorned block of sonic timber, soaked in watery reverb and awash in sinewy skeins of damaged tape. Island Records ventures ever deeper into dense primeval territory, only roughly intimated on his prior releases and further still from the scorched-earth urbanism of his group Net Shaker’s recent long-player. Trading those sputters of failing machinery and abstract paranoia for more hypnotic twilight vibrations, Gibson coaxes his own strain of mutant exotica from this suite of thirteen serpentine compositions. Trailing a procession of shadows across the dunes, Gibson moves at an oneiric pace worthy of Maya Deren—easing repeatedly at an enigmatic and sinister motif, whose full appearance never quite manifests beyond the glassy confines of the unconscious. Circular bass lines and loping rhythms crisscross the landscapes of these songs leaving wet footprints, while the album progresses with the indeterminate persistance of a febrile, paranormal pursuit. Occasional squalls of tremulous guitar burst forth, Poison Ivy-like, as on anti-anthemic opener “When You Get There,” while on tracks like “All Of Us Together,” incantatory verses hover just below an intelligible frequency—untold rites, issuing from an elusive cavern’s hidden entrance. For Gibson, each record acts as a field report from some newly imagined country—shorthand notes describing local rituals, glimpsed through the wary eyes of an itinerant stranger. Broadcast from this Delphic perspective, Island Records is a series of barely overheard conversations and half-remembered discoveries, staggering along the creeping shoreline between lucidity and oblivion. It is by turns both menacing and soothing, contrasting sutured scraps of reanimated rockabilly—think “Comanche” as a fifth-generation dub rerouted through a conch shell—with almost tender moments of shimmering serenity, as on the goosefleshraising cinematic euphoria of “In A Daylight Loop,” or the low strummed intra-dimensional folk of “In Spring (Insects).” But each such luminous, delicate passage gradually dissolves in a tide of murmuring undertones, as the vast sweep of oceanic tides emerge as the album’s truest analog.

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