A Crown Of Amaranth – Shave

up_081505_amaranthThis is a 4 song CDR limited to 50, with each copy having unique artwork created by the artist, though I do believe each copy does contain some of the artists hair. ACOA is a curious project because you never know if you are going to get his humorous side or his serious side, and that doesn’t even take into account the varied sonics he’s got in his barber satchel. “Dirt Off Ya Hova” opens the disc, a two minute deconstruction and distortion of what I assume is a pop song, the beat does sound vaguely familiar. The track moves from the eradicated beats, to a flurry of spastic electronic squirms and squalls, before ending similarly to where it started. “Str8 Outta Innsmouth” (that made me laugh) begins with a crisp and caustic Harsh Noise blast that becomes overtaken with what sounds like fluttering tape manipulations that eventually find a slow ambient synth drifting behind them. Erratic blasts of noise and cut up dart around like those flies that appear in your doorway in the summer for no obvious reason. The synth tones give it a nice steady foundation beneath the spastic nature of the rest of the track and keep it together well. “Stumbling From The Darkest Shadows” is next, this piece uses acoustic guitar melody with an country blues feel, and intermittent industrial style beats as the core for much more subtle hums and buzzes and distant sampling. Nicely done, I don’t know if the guitar is sampled or not, it has a cut of element to some of the flow that suggests it could be, but I don’t recognize it, so he may just be messing with his own creation here. The final track, “Monster (answering) Machine” is also the longest at about nine and a half minutes. This again works in guitar manipulation and fractured melody, though of a different feel, it is more swampy sounding thanks to the effects used and the lower octave. Snarled beats and a humming, dirty synth drone rise up and nearly consume the guitar melody. It’s a nice thick drone, with just enough fluctuation to give it a real uneasy feeling to it that swells up and recedes, giving the spotlight back to the melody, this juxtaposition happens a couple more times, with good effect because it is handled very slow and smooth and there are new sounds that are added in and out with it. The track ends with some odd sproinging sounds, slide whistle, and some more tape manipulation Another well done release from ACOA. The production is strong, the edges of the harsh sounds are all sharp and rusty, and the curves of the ambience very subtle. And there is nice definition between everything even in the most chaotic moments. This is a project that will surprise you in that he has done a wide variety of styles over his few releases and often within releases as here, so you can never be sure what’s going to happen next, and that’s something that we could use a little more of. The compositions use these varying styles and sometimes curious sources fluidly, and don’t come off is a hodge podge, but rather quite cohesive even if at times unconventional. – Scott

~ by scottsplatter on January 3, 2009.

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