LENT ~ Glassware of Dry Leaves

coverLENT uses tape loops, backward masking, samples and stutters to create a sonic screen on which their strangest fantasies are projected.  Glassware of Dry Leaves is a perfect title, as it makes sense on an instinctual level more than a physical one.  The dominant sub-genres shift from ambient to electronic to vapourwave, and often multiple genres are layered.  In the wrong hands, such an approach could have led to a “stuck between radio stations” effect, but in this case, it’s more of a mysterious melange, akin to Night Shift’s Trespasser’s Guide to Nowhere in 2012.  There are very few albums like this, the reason being that they are difficult and time-consuming to make.  For examples, look no further than The Avalanches, who took 16 years to release a follow-up to Since I Left You.

“Stay awake.”  The album’s first words seem superfluous, as the tape begs to be heard in its entirety.  Chimes and seemingly haphazard electronic notes lead to snatches of melody and the sounds of an air traffic controller.  But the words make more sense a few minutes later, as a lovely ambient sequence begins to lull the mind to sleep.  Suffice it to say that the effect is short-lived, as a dreamlike cluster of manipulated samples ~ opera, string, spoken word ~ enters like the effects of an aneurism.  A church choir attempts to contribute a wash of peace, but is interrupted by offsetting bursts of drone.

Side B demonstrates LENT’s versatility.  Longer snatches of classical music set the stage, offset by the crackle of fire and the warble of synthetic sound.  Later in the side-length track, seats are dusted off for triangles and barn animals; why not?  In the final minutes, the entire project is swallowed by a slowly moving wall of drone, like the tide reclaiming a sand castle after the children have gone home.  As the tape ends, the sonic grains are lost again in the sea.  (Richard Allen)

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