Cortez's piece, "White Tiger Phantoms," is easily one of the most focused and lovely bits of music i've heard from him across all of his various projects (and i've heard pretty much everything.) It's all pure, multitracked guitar, with almost none of the heavy computer-assisted post-processing found in his work with lovesliescrushing. To hear Cortez operating in such a naked state is absolutely thrilling and enthralling; to hear him conjure up such deep, glacial sounds of tarnished melancholic regret in real time is a testament to his vision and patience. The guitars slowly encroach and unfurl, blanketing you ever heavier as they pile upon themselves, never becoming overbearing while at the same time becoming near-oceanic in their weight and depth. The melodies move so seductively and so naturally. You never anticipate the changes, you simply get pulled along with them. It's the very definition of dreaminess in music. It's breathtaking and astonishing and well-worth the price of the LP on its own.
Luckily you're treated to another take on sadness on the flip side, presented in the form of Language of Light's "Double Helixes up to Heaven." LOL is a young and previously unknown entity (i believe this is their first release) but this side shows lots of promise for their place in the great drone pantheon. Similar to Cortez's side in that it's mostly guitars, LOL step away a bit from Cortez's peacefulness and offer instead a slightly more buzzing and agitated piece (but no less yearning) that progresses through several more obvious movements, coming across as a more conceptualized drone suite than a drifting , cloudy swirl. I'm reminded a bit of Aphex Twin's lighter work if there were a greater focus on organic, real time composition; maybe the Climax Golden Twins would be an apt point of reference as well. LOL's side, then, is slightly more challenging than Cortez's but also slightly less beautiful. The decision to place a minor violence in the work creates a sense of unease and discord-you could think of Cortez's side as the sadness and Language of Light's side as the anxiety. As LOL winds things down it becomes quieter, until you're left with a simple circular motif of minimalist melody. LOL's side also ends on a locked groove, so this would be great sleepytime ambience.
Great stuff from both, but an especially awesome side from Cortez. Anyone into Troum or LLC should pick this up immediately. It's very limited but still available, and comes in a lovely white-on-white screen printed sleeve. Nice job from Anticlock Records.