lovesliescrushing: Glinter
TQA Records

In characteristic lovesliescrushing manner, Scott Cortez and Melissa Arpin-Duimstra generate immense, billowing masses of ethereal design on this three-part recording for Eric Quach's TQA Records. Presenting brand new material the duo recorded in 2012 (each copy in the 200-copy edition is handmade), Glinter is lovesliescrushing at its sunblinded best, with the three ambient-drone pieces offering variations on the group's distinctive melding of guitar-generated textures, electronic voice processing, loops, and treatments. That the two have got their approach down to a fine art doesn't surprise, given that they've been crafting lo-fi dreamscapes since the fall of 1991, when Cortez and Arpin-Duimstra formed the group in East Lansing, Michigan before later moving to Tucson, Arizona.

Though the opening “Pt. I - Broken Aureate Echo” clocks in at twenty minutes, it's less an uninterrupted sound mass than one made up of sub-sections, all of which locate themselves at a similar stratospheric height but resound in slightly different manner. Obscure melodic lines struggle to escape from the centers of the constantly churning masses during its sections, and a similar approach characterizes the second part when pregnant pauses earmark transitions within the setting. One key difference is that Arpin-Duimstra's voice, audibly downplayed if not absent altogether in the opening setting, becomes a focal point in “Pt. II - She is Above the Clouds,” with the title a possible reference to the angelic effect her wordless vocalizing creates. The arresting closing episode in part two proves to be especially psychotropic when breathy voice fragments trippily loop within a cavernous space. lovesliescrushing's material is typically celestial and, in its way, anthemic, and such qualities are no better showcased than during “Pt. III - A Bird Flew to the Sun” where wave upon wave of vocal exhalations echo within swirling colossi of axe-generated haze. While no strings appear on the album, the third part does, in fact, achieve a kind of symphonic character during its most epic passages. In a given lovesliescrushing piece, the activity level is so intense as to seem violent, but, in fact, the the group's sound is anything but abrasive when its edges are softened to a gauzy blur. Anyone unfamiliar with the dronescapers' work could do worse than start with this representative sixty-five-minute effort.

September 2012