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***Ornamented Walls is the most intense, brutal and, in many senses, most substantial work from DOMINICK FERNOW’s VATICAN SHADOW project yet. Released to coincide with his first tour of Europe, the album incorporates the live mix rehearsals of "Operation Neptune Spear" with tracks made in their aftermath, recorded straight to tape and mastered by MATT COLTON at Air Studios. Anyone familiar with Fernow's live set-up will recognize the distinct nature of this material—making use of stems and partial tracks separated into a cassette system which is then re-layered and mixed, effected with electronic processing. In short, Fernow uses his tape machines like turntables in a mix, weaving a hazy and intuitive narrative of sounds that never quite head in the direction you expect, all imbued with an almost feral attitude that's exhilarating to witness, their limitations (ever noticed how VS tracks end so abruptly? the tape ran out), and their mechanical machine qualities used to devastating effect. Side A features all three parts of "Operation Neptune Spear," originally made available in a measly edition of 17 cassettes and sold at the first-ever Vatican Shadow live show in L.A. back in May 2012. Side B features an additional 25 minutes of previously-unreleased work made in the aftermath of the show and using the same set-up, including an astonishing revision of "Cairo Is a Haunted City," dis-assembled and re-wired, lending it a shortwave quality that's nothing short of revelatory. Ornamented Walls is the fourth Vatican Shadow release to be made available on vinyl, following on from releases for Blackest Ever Black, Type and his own Bed of Nails imprint. Received a 7.4 rating from Pitchfork.
#1 Operation Neptune Spear Part 1 (Live Mix Rehearsal)
#2 Operation Neptune Spear Part 2 (Live Mix Rehearsal)
#3 Operation Neptune Spear Part 3 (Live Mix Rehearsal)
#4 Cairo Is A Haunted City (Mythic Chords)
#5 Nightforce Scopes
#6 Yemeni Telephone Number
#7 India Has Just Tested A Nuclear Device
#8 Church Of All Images (Church Of The NSA)
#9 Boxes Were Wired To Batteries Then Loaded Into A Brown Toyota Cargo Truck