Spring Time = Drone Time.

Ah, it’s such a lovely day outside. The sun is blanketing the Earth with its slow death rays. The birds are chirping and flying about, waiting to smash into a window and kill themselves. It’s a lovely day for the soothing sounds of dense guitar drone. And the drone will be provided by that beloved purveyor of galaxy annihilating star explosions, Campbell Kneale, aka Birchville Cat Motel.

Four Freckle Constellation is Kneale’s second BCM album so far this year. On his recent Gunpowder Temple of Heaven album Kneale painstakingly churned out one monolithic track of shimmering drone, but Four Freckle sees him return to a more conventional approach with multiple movements as opposed to one titanic surface-destroying piece.

Kneale has also shifted his sound back to something relatively similar to his material on Astro Catastrophes and Her Anger Is Limitless. Once again, percussion is in play, and Kneale’s massive metamorphosing drone has settled into a place where the echoes of traditional song structure can be heard.

“Damn Infinity Hairtie” opens the album like a supernova, reducing planets to cosmic dust in its wake. Kneale kicks out monstrous riffs drenched in feedback and distortion while being backed by simplistic percussion that pushes the piece along hypnotically. The title track is a less ferocious affair. The eradication of a distant planet in slow motion as witnessed through the body of the tiniest organism. Watching the flames rip slowly across the ground, toppling buildings like a child topples a stack of blocks. Lush, apocalyptic drone for the indifferent generation.

“Stories of Fallen Aristocrats” is of an even more subdued nature. This somber piece floats along with an accompanying wash of screeches and light brass-like instrumentation. Chimes and off-signal chatter can be heard as the track fades. Simply haunting.

Four Freckle Constellation is yet another impressive step in Kneale’s already overwhelmingly great discography. Never content to stay in one place too long, and disinterested in taking time off, Kneale has once again proven why he is at the forefront of the experimental music scene.

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~ by theoberlander on April 15, 2008.

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