Small elegiescov

Pelt: Dauphin Elegies

We've definitely mentioned it before, in other reviews, but with every release it does seem more and more that Pelt are perhaps the only group of minimal dronelords truly occupying the dark mysterious sonic space vacated by the long lost legends. Tony Conrad, LaMonte Young, John Cale, Taj Mahal Travellers, Pelt sonically fall somewhere in that list, often leaning more toward one position than another. Sometimes unfurling whispered shimmers and deep crystalline metallic whirs, other times spewing thick sheets of upper register skree, or spreading thick layers of reverberating buzz over Eastern style ragas. Whatever they're doing, and however the hell they do it, the result is truly diving. Especially for the drone obsessed among us.

And here, on their latest, within four long tracks they dabble in all of the above, the opener is all gongs bowls and bells, deep murky metallic sprawls, ringing out, tones drifting into the ether, but with a strange propulsion, not usually found in Pelt tracks, that makes it almost sound like the Necks, if all three of the Necks were playing cymbals and bowls. Dark and languorous and gorgeous. The second track is all scraping fiddles and moaning cellos, bowed and rubbed and sawed feverishly a la Henry Flynt, pizzicato melodies, distant melodies, LOTS of space, dense squalls of malfunctioning string quartet drones, bits of percussion and tinkling chimes, very abstract and obtuse but still quite hypnotic. Up next is the record's centerpiece, 31 minutes of deep multi-timbral drones, thick swirls of harmonium, and according to the liner notes, the only track that utilizes electricity, to power something called the New Jupiter Machine. No idea what that is, but we like it. Fiddles and cellos join the fray, until there are so many layers your ears a gloriously overwhelmed, all the various notes and tones vibrating, beating, interwoven, offering up all sorts of incidental melodies and mysterious sounds that only reveal themselves gradually. So transcendental. Worth it for this track alone. In fact we often say this, but we would have been just as happy if they stretched it out for another 30 minutes, or 60, or 90, well, you know.

The disc finishes off with a brief coda of glistening high end. Sounding a bit like an analog Ryoji Ikeda, all super high harmonics, bells and chimes, all glimmering in the impossibly high upper registers, like listening to ice crystals, or the sounds of stars sparkling, or a recording of sunlight reflecting of the water, or the sounds of dew on morning grass. Delicate, crystalline, and fantastic.

Aquarius