Sub Loam: 2
Dissolving Records

If there's not a whole lot of imagination going on here title-wise, there's more than enough happening visually to make up for it. Issued in a hand-numbered, 110-copy run, 2, two-track EP by Thomas Shrubsole (aka Sub Loam) on his own Dissolving label, arrives in a paper bag containing the CD, four tinted photographs, and track details. A seeming evocation of a primeval forest before dawn breaks, the fifteen-minute opening piece burbles and floats through an aquatic web of hiss, echo, and reverb—so thick one could drown in it—filled with warbling percussive streams and the sleepy meander of an ever-so-faint central melody. It's eventually joined by another, at which point they start to resemble the dazed moans of humans lost in the jungle. While generally similar in character to the first, the second setting, “Grass And Soil, Rutted Track, A Mound Of Earth,” includes sounds of what could pass for primal earth activity—burbling and sucking noises that suggest molten lava—and ups the convulsive ante until the track teeters woozily like some drunken rhino. It wouldn't be inaccurate to say it's unlike anything else I've heard in recent memory.

June 2010