This is an outstanding album, the vibe is somewhere between ambient and drone with dreamlike qualities yet also with an edge of tension at times too. It’s quite hypnotic, like a daydream at times. I really like the way that field recordings (or spoken samples) sit really low in the mix giving the effect of a distant conversation that’s just about audible but you can’t really hear it properly.
The production is brilliant, great attention has been paid to the crafting and layering of sounds and at times there are sounds like artifacts from switching effects on and off for instance which really add to the feel, tending to grab your attention just for that split second making you wonder where you are before slipping back into your daydream again. It’s also one of those releases that the more you listen to it, the more you hear.
The primary release format is a limited edition high quality tangerine cassette, each side of the cassette is presented in a blended format. The cassette comes in a card slipcase featuring artwork by Concrete Belly. Also included is an art-card featuring another Concrete Belly design and track-list details and info to the reverse, plus 2 Owlbinos badges and an exclusive ‘she always explodes’ postcard (each pack contains a different postcard!).
If that’s not enough, it’s sealed in a silver semi-translucent anti-static bag with stickers to the front and rear. The rear sticker features a scan-able QR code that accesses an exclusive to the cassette only Owlbinos bonus track ‘Dolphin Vomit’ to download or stream. At the time of writing there are only 6 cassettes left so you’d better be quick!
A digital version is also available with the tape comprising of tracks 1 – 6 for side A and tracks 7 – 12 for side B.
A great evolving opening, I really like the pad type sound and vocal sample which sits really low in the background giving the effect of hearing a distant conversation. There’s excellent movement in the sound with an emerging bell type of synth sound and great use of delay. The emerging drone gives a great edge of tension and nice change in feel with some really well layered background sounds too.
Mike E Scum Must Die
Another great evolving opening, there’s an urgency to the pulsing synth sound and a background sample that sounds like a distant voice. There’s great looping and use of delay too. The bass drone adds a great tension against the more free flowing delayed sounds. There’s just a hint of a beat in the background.
Another great evolving opening with a swirling pad type sound layered over a field recording containing birds. The bass is quite harsh in comparison giving a great contrast. Really good use of looping elements and delay again. The heavily distorted sound is a great contrasting element too.
Hugging a Ghost (feat. Great Raven)
There’s an edgy quality to the opening synth and some great delayed background sounds. The vocals are excellent and have a real ethereal feel. Again there’s a great ambience contrasted with more edgy sounds.
This has an almost choir like feeling to the opening with excellent looping and use of delay. A brilliant soundscape.
He’s Magic and You’re Not
Great layering of percussive type sounds against a synth sound, a really hypnotic soundscape.
He’ll Get His Skeleton
The bass drone gives an edge of tension and a synth sound is really subtle, kind of weaving around the bass gaining prominence. There’s a great tension to the song, the background sounds are subtle and masterfully layered.
A synth drone and background looping sound (a cough?) with great use of delay give a great momentum to the song. A nice evolution with a great ending.
How Can Someone Who Wears So Much Orange Be So Dead Inside
I really like the gnarly distorted tone, it gives a great edge of tension. The background sounds are processed and layered really well.
You Have To Be Nice
The song opens with an atmospheric synth contrasted with a harsher drone type of sound. Again, there are excellently layered background sounds and great use of looping / delay to create an excellent soundscape.
A slightly edgy emerging synth sound with a subtle percussive rhythm creates another great soundscape. There’s a glitchy feel at times, a great tension and contrast between the harsher and more ambient elements.
She Always Explodes
There’s great movement in the opening drone which has a nice edge of tension contrasting against the emerging synth sound. There’s almost an organic / mechanical feel to the contrasting sounds which works really well.