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Pleamar (produced by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins)
Love Spirals Downwards
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Lovesliescrushing returns to Projekt with a special mail-order-only release. This CD will not be available in stores. It's the second in a new series of discs from Projekt, presenting excellent music available especially for the fans via our website. This arrangement bypasses the hassle and frustration of retail and makes the music available directly to you.
On their newest album, Voirshn, Lovesliescrushing (one of the few remaining representatives of the 'shoegazer' genre) continues their trend further from the traditional rock elements that characterized earlier dream pop bands. From the beginning, instrumentalist Scott Cortez and vocalist Melissa Arpin distanced themselves from the genre by rejecting conventional song stuctures in favor of an intensified version of the meandering sound that was forcefully inaugurated by MBV's classic Loveless. In Lovesliescrushing, this aesthetic has gradually approached pure ambience. Nevertheless, their typically warm guitars counterveil this tendency even with the absence of percussion and song structure. On Voirshn, their 4th recording, both are either minimal or entirely absent; wordless female vocals drift in and out while 'electronic beats' - guitarnoise softened by semi-lo-fi production - occasionally interrupt a wash of guitar. Although consistent in style, the album avoids sounding like one continuous song through adequately diverse guitar sounds ranging from the lush vibrant tone of the opening track 'glixen' to the subdued quasi-detatched feel of 'sovfx'. Overall, Lovesliescrushing continues to exist between the worlds of shoegazer and ambience, although the ascendant former has once again conceded to the latter. This is pure glitch-bliss.
Lovesliescrushing. [Voirshn] is a synthesis of processed ambient gloss and lo-fi grit, creating a digital-analog hybrid that Scott terms 'glitch-bliss'. Songs were compiled from a palette of sonorities extrapolated from a collection of voice and guitars, warped into rumbling subsonics, staticblast hiss, hazy chord clusters, extended infinite tone loops, melody spirals, avian-like whistles, glistening overtones, voices cut-up into splintered fragments, thoughtforms suspended over warm tonesheets like a ghost cloud, indistinct and luminous. Still eschewing bass and drums, rhythmic elements are culled from filtered guitar tones mutated into stroboscopic pulsations and digital dust clickings. Once again guitardamage is wrought upon six-strings, manipulated, deconstructed, reassembled to create bloodrush pulses reminiscent of a softly humming embryonic landscape of digitized lullabies.
Very mellow journey drawing the line between Gridlock’s synthy atmospheres, Cocteau Twins ambience (though the vocals are quite different) ala Victorialand and a tad bit like Frolic if Matt Chin got into some major tape experimentation. Aka a nice little mix! From the opening Atari reverb trancing along like a digital Alice In Wonderland theme (it kind of reminds me of some of the Atari usage in Gridlock’s “Further”), to the intricately placed sparse vocals seeping out like a rose vine climbing a plateau, the constraint is perfect. Everything is placed like a chef puts together gourmet deserts, with every detail placed just enough in the right places with nothing overdone. The drums are soft throbs and even at their hardest they are just plain trance-sounding, if not a tad danceable. I’d say my favorite tracks would have to be 5 and 6, “Ckaif” and “Juhl”. Exactly what language is this though? It is Polish? Romanian? Though not one for moshing out and dancing to, it is a perfect relaxation CD and one great for reading to or just chilling to, like I’m doing now! Rating: 10. Also recommended are their appearance on the Projekt 100 compilation (Oh memories! Sob sob). - KlingKlangBedlam
With Voirshn, Loveliescrushing carries on the shoegazer torch My Bloody Valentine lit with Loveless, while venturing deeper into dark ambient territory. Half of the ten tracks are instrumentals that make use of heavily processed guitars; the rest add the incredibly lovely, soaring ethereal singing of Melissa Arpin-Henry. Most of the album has a simultaneously soothing and unnerving feel, like falling in love, or watching a cauldron full of boiling stew, never quite knowing what's going to bubble to the surface next. Probably my favorite track is the epic-length "shivon," which begins with a gorgeous female voice echoing in a dark void; muted electronic blips weave in and out, chopping the voice into nearly unrecognizable bits, then stitching them back together into a Frankensteinian creation. The result is like listening to a dark angel sing, in a voice no human was meant to hear; far too beautiful to stop listening to, but deeply disturbing too. - Dave Aftandilian
4 of 5 Stars There is a secluded area in our souls that is most beautiful and yet terrifying. It is the place that allows us to touch the untouchable, to briefly move the filmy veil that shields our existence from unreality. It is the location of secrets and the hiding place of death. You can visit it often enough but you can never get a full glimpse of it. You can reach out and grasp what you feel or see yet never possess it long enough to satisfy your longing. Lovesliescrushing’s latest recording is the perfect soundtrack to this shadowed region of our lives. And it is beautiful in every way. Choosing selected white noise and building around it with an electronic symphony, Scott Cortez’s most stylized recording to date mesmerizes and captures the imagination. With eerie and haunting familiarity, voirshn, is the troubled and stirred soundwaves that emanate from the misted expanse we are unable to live in. There are uneven clicks that produce a rhythmic quality enhanced by notes of sadness. There are scratchy white noises of emptiness filled with swarming and ethereal choirs that are far too beautiful to classify. Whatever noise is chosen, although centralized, it’s enveloped by a concerto of swirling tranquility.
Lovesliescrushing’s work may be characterized by some as ambient noise but the point would have been missed. Elusive, the sphere of thought and philosophy, the nether location of memory, is a very real place, a touchstone for people that go beyond normal everyday activity. Lovesliescrushing’s voirshn is a superlative work of musical qualities that blend the twilight of contemplation with the sounds of its energies. The set consists of 10 uniquely different pieces that can accompany any inward journey and do it with intent and majesty. It won’t work for everybody but not everybody chooses to part those veils for even a glimpse. Scott Cortez’s alter ego, lovesliescrushing, makes the travel to introspection and memories a pleasant trip. But he does it with an ear to the darkness that is the true component of those places in our souls. A necessary work of force. - Matt Rowe -