Sandy Ewen: You Win LP (Gilgongo, 2020)

December 1, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sandy Ewen: You Win LP

Sandy Ewen’s first solo LP is apparently guitar-based, but it’s extremely difficult to tell how she’s coming up with these sounds. The album’s title track takes up the entire first side, and it starts out sounding like physical currents rolling around before the plumes of feedback eventually start blinking like alarms. She seems to strangle the daylights out of her guitar, squeezing out some notes but mostly producing violent, panned vibrations. It eventually drifts into a tunnel of loose, spacious thrums and metallic resonances, moving far away from the more grounded rumbling of the piece’s beginning. The alarm beeps can’t quite go away until the very end, though. “Virginia Creeper” is maybe the most lowercase track here; some scrounging around but not a whole lot happens. “Serra” is a floating feedback sculpture which sounds like it might be bowed, but it’s hard to tell. “Face Topography” is far more fractured and splintered, almost sounding like an electroacoustic tape piece performed live on a guitar. “Square Waves” is another sort of floating pieces filled with ringing, lightly clanging tones. Ewen has created videos for these pieces, which incorporate a lot of innovative processes, and look pretty amazing based on the still images, but I haven’t gotten around to checking them out yet (my wifi connection can be pretty fussy sometimes).

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