karl review from deft esoterica #2

claude (writing) and ola aldous (art) are doing a super cool zine called deft esoterica. i’ve gotten both issues, but issue 2, from fall 2019, has been sitting in my to-read pile for a long time. fostering dachshunds means we occasionally have a quarantine up and i go through stretches of not being in my record listening/reading room. well, i’m back to it and have a bit more time to chip away at my ‘to read’ stack. another wonderful issue that i can’t recommend enough. claude’s ‘voice’ in his writing is inquisitive, passionate, and positive. i had the pleasure of hanging with them when we played the show referenced in the review and i can tell you it’s truly the vibe claude has in person as well. anyway, in deft esoterica #2 he reviewed the ‘karl’ split tape that josh and i did for our tour in summer 2018. read that review below, and check out deft esoterica. these little zines are just so refreshing. i believe the physical tape for karl is sold out, but josh has digital available on his bandcamp page here.

Ola and I played a (Figure From Ground) show with Shedding last summer, the day before the formal start of the Shedding/Josh Mason summer tour.  We caught Shedding the next day at Autumn Records in Winooski, Vermont, but Josh was unfortunately unable to make the gig.  Lusky, I just found this tour momento.  The Shedding side showcases Connor Bell’s synth manipulations as well as some field recording that eventually provides the underpinnings for something of a reprise of the squelchy, honking yelps and near “bouncing ball” bloops.  Fascinating and tasty timbres, a bit like dragging your finger on a newly inflated rubber inner tube and bumping it around, with some liquid filter drips. 

Josh Mason’s side has a crackling ambient quality with melodic lines woven behind artifactual pops and interference.  This is not an unsettled calm, it more like the satisfaction of “letting things be” in an uncertain and chaotic world.  Mason has a tape release on the Dauw label, out of Belgium, which makes sense to me, hearing this work.  Very complimentary artists, Shedding’s inclusion of the field recording speaks to Mason’s textures and Mason’s tastefully chaotic seasoning resonates with Shedding’s deliberate bwonkiness.