Slate grey and beautifully so, ‘Blacked Out Passages’ hums into life like a sun rising in a sky choked with perspective-flattening monochrome cloud. Employing longform drone, field-recordings, subtle guitar bubblings, and ambient electronic noise they create an opaque, mysterious and lustrous mist of sound; fog-choked sleepscapes for the deepest of dream dives. The shivering and haunting ‘A Parking Lot Gloaming’ is especially affecting, a voice intones the possibility of a post-death transference of yourself into ideals and causes, an ascent into posterity and collective memory mirrored in a wonderful drift into crackling vinyl respiration and soft pillows of looped static. There is an intensity of musical direction throughout that ensures ‘Blacked Out Passages’ transcends the merely pretty, it gathers an emotional weight about itself that belies the effortless slipstream it superficially resembles, it is a wrenching and disorientating experience to emerge into the fiery rumble and fierce Penderecki moan-chorus of closer ‘Rooftops/Spires/Valleys’. The fury abates and the album closes in loops of sawing buzz, bird song, and fragile piano melody.
A cyclical furrow of stylus through ash. Radiophonic ghost emissions. Frequency-scanning hiss. Train roar and shovel scrape. Deep breaths of stellar sighs. ‘Alpha’, the first half of this recording of a Lost Trail live show performed in collaboration with Animals Like Earthquakes, seems conjured from disparate noise ephemera before silky strands of synth-noise bind and warp the fragments into a whirlpool of grinding pressure; intensely alienating and bleak; it eventually falters like a crumbling engine, surrendering to rust and ruin. ‘Beta’ begins with distorted voices, forgotten moss-choked answer machine messages, corralled into humming drone bliss by screaming guitar shepherds. Whistling kettle elephant calls are stretched into tape-smeared crumble elegies. A melancholy bellow into wilderness and wastelands.
'Blacked Out Passages' is availble here and 'Live @ Glenwood Coffee & Books, Greensboro, North Carolina, 04/11/2014' here. Lost Trail is a duo of Denny and Zachary Corsa; explore their work here.