Snoqualmie Falls: Red Fire Dark
Cooper Cult

Any similarities between the vintage postcard image adorning Snoqualmie Falls' debut release Red Fire Dark and the scenery of Twin Peaks isn't accidental: the waterfalls depicted are those shown in the show's opening credits sequence, and Snoqualmie Falls was, in fact, the location used for the Great Northern Hotel in David Lynch's cult series. It would be interesting to catalogue all of the releases and artists that have drawn inspiration from the program and the collaborative musical work produced by Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti, and Julee Cruise, considering how extensive the project's influence has proven to be.

The thirteen minutes of spellcasting featured on this limited-run, three-inch CD from Alicia Merz (aka Birds of Passage) and Jeff Stonehouse (aka jffstnhs), the presumed members of Snoqualmie Falls, clearly suggests that a marked degree of Twin Peaks-styled entrancement has seeped into their souls. Reverb-drenched swirls imbue the title track with a dream-like aura as blurry washes and Merz's haunting whisper emerge from the music's mists. The material's slow-motion unfurl envelops the listener, drawing him/her helplessly into its seductive realm via the music's incantatory power. The second track, “Pearl,” exudes a slightly more unsettled quality, with subtle traces of nature field recordings and electrical murmurings seemingly audible alongside Merz's wistful musings. It's worth noting that in contrast to many artists who tend to focus on the more nightmarish aspects of the Lynch universe, Snoqualmie Falls transmutes its dreamlike character into undeniably potent musical form.

January 2014