Eric De Jesus and Minus Pilots: We Won't Be Here Forever
Future Recordings

An inspired project, We Won't Be Here Forever combines the writing and musical talents of American writer Eric De Jesus and UK-based Minus Pilots, respectively, in a work that augments the former's illustrated short novella (long short story, if you prefer) with the latter's soundtrack. Written in Virginville and Philadelphia in late 2009, the story is presented within silk-screened, card stock covers that are bound with a single piece of rope. The low-budget, home-made presentation isn't a turn-off, however, but rather adds to the project's quaint charm.

We Won't Be Here Forever is the group's follow-up to 2008's Superior Proof of Cinema (Panic Arrest), which introduced Minus Pilots' particular brand of understated electroacoustic mood sculpting to the masses. Electric basses, looping devices, cassette tape recorders, and various analogue, vintage, digital, and custom effects pedals were used to create the earlier work, and one guesses much the same was used for the new one too. The tracks share certain properties, the most obvious one being a liquidy quality that finds the guitars—the primary instruments—sounding at times as if they're being dipped in water and their normally clean picking smudged and distorted. Looped guitar figures swell into multi-layered masses, with some lines clearly etched and others turned into swizzles and warbles by treatments of one kind or another. The guitar elements at moments resemble spindly little curlicues of soft-edged character as they ripple and cascade across one another and accumulate into waves of quiet drift. Throughout the album, treated guitars swim through crackling seas in such a way that their waterlogged flutter and thrum grows quietly hypnotic. Texture plays a large role in the overall presentation too, with the already muted guitar elements coated with hiss. An even, ambient-like flow asserts itself in such a way that the temperate result forms a homogenous backdrop to one's reading of the story. The album's dream-like aura is reinforced by the track titles, as they too—“To Make Myself a Star,” “Sketching Out Over Manitoba Skylines,” and “Listening for Return Signals” three such examples—convey the ethereal tone of the musical materials; fittingly, the band itself states that its recordings are “designed for listening through headphones while gazing at the stars.”

February 2011