June 29, 2009

Nests of Waves and Wire

San Francisco, CA
Recorded by Tim Green at The Hangar in Sacramento, CA, and Louder in San Francisco, CA | Mixed at Louder by Tim Green and Tartufi | Mastered at Golden Mastering by John Golden

Maybe brother and sister work together best. Tartufi’s Brian Gorman and Lynne Angel, as a duo, adroitly blend layer upon layer of vocals and ambitious instrumentation, frantic noise, sonic walls of guitar and drum, and soaring melodies into a combination that is awash in epic scope and lovely device. It’s as if Philip Glass went tribal, Middle Eastern and sonically over-the-top using everything in someone’s home to create new music.

Defying typical form, Tartufi craft an album that is as epic and transcendent as a dream. “Engineering” is 13 minutes long, “Hole or Space” is just under 11. The song and album length is pure salutation, moving from one emotion to the next. At eight minutes, “Church of Hanging Leaders” is most cumbersome, its first minute built on double-time drumming, which seems to double on itself while mashed against plodding guitar. Tartufi makes use of every second, filling with yells and howls, plundering guitar riffs or acoustic gentleness. Overkill has never been utilized so well. It’s a myriad of sound – confusing and pleasurable, cracked and manic. There’s soaring, wailing vocals and drum beats derived from heavy thumping on instruments or perhaps an old trash can.

Nests of Waves and Wire is a fever dream with a dynamic soundtrack, as if approximating several soundtracks together. It’s an instrumental, albeit experimental album whose vocals feel less like a singer but more like an instrument manipulated. Angel’s vocal prowess is absolutely beautiful, pained and all-encompassing. Nests is best listened to beginning to end, as pure auditory experience, even though anticlimactic from the get-go since it morphs continually. It’s one of the boldest albums in a long time and hopefully will never fully make sense to listeners who discover it, thus preserving longevity. (Southern Records)
-Brian Tucker

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