01 December 2012

Lost Trail / FAVRTSM - "In Gray And Leaden Air"

Winter is upon us my friends. The cold temperatures are moving in, relatives are soon going to be around bringing you fruitcakes, and Christmas music is beginning to blast from every radio dial. For us that love our experimental music, I have just the thing to carry you through the season. Two of my [and hopefully your] favorite artists have released a split together on the wonderful Sunup Recordings. Everything about this album just screams Winter for me. The music, the cover, the title, it's just a perfect storm. But Anyways, onto the music. On this split, we have 10 new tracks from NC drone masters Lost Trail and 6 tracks from one of favorite new artists of 2012, FAVRTSM. Between the two of them, Lost Trail and FAVRTSM put together what are in my opinion some of their best song to date.

Lost Trail's tracks are first on here, and it's very interesting to hear the duo's interesting formula of drones and soundscapes shortened into 1-3 minute tracks. And the nice thing is that the shortened length still allows the track to fully develop before going on to the next track. The tracks "Calculating Eventual Collapse" and "Broken Canto/Modern Lives And Mobile Homes" are both these very awesome drones, both with their own little intricate way of being interesting. "Shallow Ponds Of Chemical Silver, Pt. 2" is interesting ambient noisescape that really makes me just sit down and want it to go on forever, "Homesick, Before Leaving" might be my favorite Lost Trail moment on the split. An amazing sample of what I think might be woodwinds, these airy and haunting synthesizers, and just an ambience that I don't think many bands can pull off. "Without Names, Without Eyes" has this nice and fuzzy sample of piano that echoes through out the track that I love (I think it might actually be a FAVRTSM sample). As a whole, I really loved Lost Trail's side. These guys create some of the best ambient and harsh drones that are coming out these days. I'm definitely going to be waiting in anticipation for their next LP. For FAVRTSM's side, I can definitely say that this split continues a reign of great material for him. In my opinion, these are definitely some of his most emotional tunes to date. "What Has Happened (Happened)" is incredibly loud because of just how hard Rafael Grafals is hitting the keys. The improv element on that song is just so emotion filled, one of the most emotion heavy tracks I've heard him make. "A Song For Me" is piano improv at it's best. The general "hook" that the song has is very engaging, and everything surrounding the main notes remain interesting for the whole time, something that I can say, as a musician, is fairly hard to do. "I Feel Content" has this very bright and cheerful atmosphere about it, focusing on the higher octaves of his old, creeky piano and it sounds excellent. It's very interesting to hear a much happier song from Rafael, it's sort of rare in a way. "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" is another great track of loud and roaring improv that isn't my favorite from his catalogue, but definitely a quite enjoyable track. Both the Intro and Outro track's on Rafael's side are both I believe classical music covers, but i'm not quite sure. But, I am quite sure that they start and finish this thing correctly.

As far as some amazing, experimental music goes, this split is just perfect. I love both these artists and what they're doing so much and just find every musical thing they do an automatic listening priority. This definitely didn't disappoint me and actually exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. I'm definitely going to listen to this long into the winter. You can stream and download the split up above for free, and get the tape from Sunup Recordings here.

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