Corwin Trails: Wolf Songs Folk Songs LP (self-released, 2019)

August 10, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Corwin Trails: Wolf Songs Folk Songs LP

This astounding LP from Corwin Trails constructs highly melodic downtempo IDM from acoustic instruments and field recordings from Northern Michigan as well as India and Nepal. All of the percussion came from sounds captured in the woods, but it’s so crackly, crunchy, and fizzy that you might assume it’s laptop-generated glitch. The melodies are played using instruments including autoharp, bazouki, sarangi, accordion, and prepared acoustic guitar strings, and it’s all open and resonant, yet it’s extremely tightly arranged. There’s moments where the rhythms sound close to tabla playing (“Decomposition”, which reminds me of Decomposure, an artist who used to make IDM pop songs out of sampled household sounds) or gamelan (“In Search of”). It also sounds a bit like a musically focused version of the Books, meaning without the goofy samples. There are some samples and vocals though, especially on the second side. “The Absolute Irreversible Emptiness of Extinction” extracts Robert Redford’s voice from a Natural History Magazine record abot wolves from the early ’70s. The album ends with a longer piece called “An Old Oak Tree” which features ghostly vocals by Amie Simons, which seem to be about dealing with change. Fantastic, gorgeous, inventive stuff.

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