Infinite Greyscale is one of our favorite labels, known for releasing quality 10″ records, only a handful each year. They’ve upped their game in 2015, as Anduin‘s Last Days of Montrose House is paired with a digital package of seven remixes from artists including Elian, Radere and Stephen Vitiello. It’s a generous move that essentially turns an EP into an album.
The original, however, is the best. This is a compliment to the artist, as the guests are of such high pedigree one might expect them to challenge the composer for the title. But wow, what a track. The closest comparison is Black to Comm’s Providence, a single-track EP from last year that transitioned from drone to electronic, spooking listeners all the way. Last Days of Montrose House is a close relative, although it proceeds along a less linear path. One can already intuit the mood from the screen-printed vinyl image: a deserted room in an abandoned house, drab tan and grey, concrete and litter and decay. Anduin’s music is even more intimidating. These may be the last days of Montrose House, but the house is putting up a fight.
Who is operating the projector? Who is dragging the metal across the floor? We may never know. As Anduin plays an elegy for the house, the house plays an elegy for him. Distant static and closer crackle conjure aural images of EVP; ghosts seeping from broken bottles. A dark, sweeping drone descends like a wraith. And then the pulse, rats scattering in its wake, glass on the ground, and a rising, unidentifiable power.
Someone is walking in the room. And yet the sound – no human being could make this sound on this surface, a clean, booted echo on unencumbered wood ~ which as one can clearly see in the photo on the right, is not there. Synthesizers produce wet, spackled sounds, like spilled ectoplasm. Is that high-pitched moan human? Is it you?
And now to the remixes. Stephen Vitiello moves the pulse to the front of the mix and amplifies the buried sounds. Radere emphasizes the wet synths and static surges. Borne embraces the double beat. Chester Hawkins plays a buried tape and hears a disembodied voice. .thejass almost makes the track danceable. Elian reduces the piece to cold, clinical tones. And Tag Cloud shows a bit of mercy, adding ambient elements. Each remix is distinct from the next, as well as from the source material; a rare accomplishment. How shall I spook thee? Let me count the ways. (Richard Allen)