28 November 2012

Begonia - "Eagle"

Fresh on the scene French tape label Carpi is one of the latest additions to the Living Room Visions collective of artists and experimental music-purveyors, and their fourth release is a real stunner. A fifteen-minute EP issued on two 1985-vintage reel-to-reels (!!!), 'Eagle' is the latest work of Begonia, a mysterious gent by the name of Liam Overton, whom Carpi CEO Charles Belpois describes as a "native hiker coming straight from the forests of Colorado". Consider my interest piqued!

The tagline is apt, as often the best ambient and experimental music resides in that deliciously hazy intersection where (often damaged) technology collides head-on with visceral, bursting nature. This tape does not disappoint in that respect. Side A is full of eerie swells of reversed tape warble and the occasional dripping synth sparkle, with just the barest, distant hint of a pulsing beat fading in and out of the mix. Side B is more trance-inflected, with a solid dancefloor thump and warm synthpads skipping over a loop of delicate birdsong and wistful, yearning harmonica. The diversity between these two tracks, while retaining similar thematic tendencies, is this EP's strongest selling point. Rather than coming off as a genre experiment, or as the scatter-brained and unsure product of a tentative new artist, these two pieces compliment each other beautifully, two halves of the same inherent whole.

One can be sure that if Carpi continues this new hot streak with releases as strong as Begonia's pastrol tapestry, that we'll be noticing a lot more well-deserved attention around the blog circuit. 'Eagle' is available in a very limited run of 19 copies, so grab yours before it soars irrevocably away. 

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