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Artist: AXOLOTL/THE SKATERS
Title: Split
Format: LP
Label: Catsup Plate
Country: USA
Price: $18.00
"Both Axolotl and The Skaters (the "The" is essential, by the way) have been smoking peoples brain stems around the bay area for some time, releasing the occasional audio document that, more often than not, disappears almost immediately upon release. After cobbling together a woefully incomplete selection of their musics--both as individual entities and, on occasion, as collaborators--we knew we needed to get more of both bands stuff out to the "masses." For this split LP release (not a collaboration, mind you) we present "Holon" by Axolotl and "Bodydoor Procession" by The Skaters. Though the band has been at times a two- and three-piece, on this record Axolotl is just Karl Bauer. "Holon" is a three part suite of some of the most beautiful crush and drone youre likely to hear. Specific instrumentation is tough to nail down, though most all of the Axolotl stuff is based on violin lines, which are twisted and warped using electronics and other effects. The result nods to folks like Tony Conrad and the Theater of Eternal Music, but also evokes some of the cascading liquid drone that underpinned the more progressive shoegaze acts of the early 90s, though freed from the twee song structure and launched into the stratosphere. "Holon pt2" is a particular favorite around here, wherein Axolotl manages to create a drone piece with real soul and emotional content to it, something that most contemporary experimental acts cant seem to muster. The Skaters are Spencer Clark and James Ferraro. Their "Bodydoor Procession" begins with a vaguely east-Asian vibe, an urgent distorted piano line and a wordless vocal line that alternately sounds like moaning, choking or a prayer in a heretofore discovered language. The Skaters have always been about building up their pieces with layers of sound and initial simplicity of "Bodydoor" soon grows and mutates, grounded by an insistent (and distorted) piano, with payer upon layer of vocal cries and moans, amongst other unidentified sound sources. By the time their side concludes, almost twenty minutes later, youve either been taken to a deeply meditative and psychedelic part of inner space or been subjected to the cries of the damned in hell, depending on your taste in these things. Edition of 500 copies in generic black LP jackets with metallic gold screenprinted art and DIY-style photocopied insert." - Catsup Plate.

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