Motion Sickness Of Time Travel: Traces
A Guide To Saints, a new, tape-oriented imprint from Room40's Lawrence English, is issuing Traces at about the same time as Rachel Evans's self-titled Motion Sickness Of Time Travel collection is being released on Spectrum Spools. As such, it's easy to imagine that the Traces material could just as easily have entered the world as the third(!) album in the Spectrum Spools set, an idea that seems even more logical given how much the two releases share a consistent sound and vision. Regardless, any listener who's taken the Spectrum Spools plunge will most certainly want to do the same with Traces, the first edition from A Guide To Saints, incidentally, and the first in a planned series of so-called ‘Cassette Diaries'— recordings of ‘momentary musics' produced in a short period of time, be it a day, week, or more.
Evans's Motion Sickness Of Time Travel project fits the cassette format wonderfully, especially when her long-form pieces generally allow for a natural album or cassette split. Traces, for example, features two settings, the title cut and “Colour Changing Eyes,” the first twenty minutes and the second sixteen. Both are very much in the Motion Sickness Of Time Travel style heard on the Spectrum Spools outing: heady, uncompromising excursions into universes teeming with synthetic swirl and vocal incantations. In the hypnotic title track, two contrasting zones seem to be perpetually locked in battle: an immense, heaving undertow, on the one hand, and squalls of writhing synthesizer noise and drones on the other. Synth sputter and Evans's haunting vocals feature more prominently in “Colour Changing Eyes,” which rapidly builds to a droning fever pitch of synapse-destroying intensity so potent it could induce psychosis. Evans has the ability to harness cosmic energy and distill it into material form in a way that's often breathtaking, especially when experienced at maximum volume. Her consistently amazing Traces is music one doesn't so much listen to as drown in.