Lovesliescrushing’s 2002 release
Lovesliescrushing exists between the worlds of shoegazer and ambience, the ascendant former has once again conceded to the latter. This is pure glitch-bliss.
On their 4th album from 2002, Lovesliescrushing ventured further from the traditional rock elements which characterized prior dream pop bands. Guitarist Scott Cortez and vocalist Melissa Arpin distanced themselves from the genre by rejecting conventional song structures in favor of an intensified drifting sound. In Lovesliescrushing the sound forcefully inaugurated by My Bloody Valentine’s classic Loveless gradually approached pure ambience. Nevertheless, their typically warm guitars counterveil the minimal or entirely absent percussion and verse/chorus format. Wordless female vocals drift in and out while ‘electronic beats’ — guitarnoise softened by semi-lo-fi production — occasionally interrupt a wash of guitar; ranging from the lush vibrant tone of the opening track “glixen” to the subdued quasi-detached feel of the closer “vihygen.”
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.
August 2021: CD reissue in 4-panel digipak
A review by Ned Raggett from All Music
After semi-disappearing via obscure rumors and Scott Cortez’s Astrobrite side effort, Lovesliescrushing made a long overdue return with Glissceule and then via Projekt with the wondrous Voirshn. Nearly ten years on from the spectacular Bloweyelashwish debut, Cortez and singer Melissa Arpin-Henry show once more that the particular magic of the duo is ever present. Cortez has more technical toys to play with this time out — everything is mixed onto his iMac — but the basic principle of four-track bedroom recordings translated into stunning post-shoegaze remains. If there’s a bit less of a rough edge on many of the songs, it’s only because Cortez has gotten ever more detailed with the sound. The swooping swirls of “Glixen,” feeling like a candy-colored storm on the moodiest day ever, and “Anovi,” with its ghostly droning shimmer, are just two examples of where everything the band can offer not only comes together but reaches a new height of transcendent beauty. Arpin-Henry’s ghostly keening, swathed in echo but a soothing center to much of the looped music, is an excellent counterpoint; while she’s not on every track, whenever she appears she adds a greater depth to the end results. On “Juhl,” her high, from-the-heavens vocals come flowing down over a series of low rumbles and distortion, the two elements perfectly balanced. Many songs feel like collages — not so much assembled in a random sense, but put together in parts that result in complicated constructions that are less traditional songs and more detailed mood pieces, like the mournful, transcendent build of “Ckaif.” The multi-part “Nuj,” with its percussion pulses and sudden descending feedback reverb blasts, and the combination of crackling feedback rhythm and swoon combined with Arpin-Henry’s chopped-up vocals on “Shivan” are two other fine examples out of many.