The North Sea & hyacinth.: Poppies (The Jewel Garden, 2021)

June 3, 2021 at 9:15 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The North Sea & hyacinth.: Poppies

I haven’t caught up with all the releases on Brad Rose’s The Jewel Garden label yet, but this split between their long-running The North Sea project and Portland’s hyacinth. is a marvel of polar opposites. The North Sea’s “The Stationer’s Shop” is 22 minutes of COVID-induced doom, violently shaking and squirming in place like it’s glued to the floor, with heavier, more prowling synths gradually piling on more and more layers of dread. You feel like you’ve been in a sort of reverse car wash afterwards, hosing you down and scrubbing you with dirt and grime, yet it feels just as cleansing afterwards. And then the hyacinth. tracks are basically a beat tape of relaxed, slow-moving chill grooves, with airy sequences levitating over thumping, skipping beats. Each track sounds it would perfectly soundtrack a brief, slightly offbeat scene that basically involves some strange objects swaying or whirling around. A few tracks like “casper.” sound especially off-spool and doused with narcotics, but a fair amount of it could fit in pretty much any poolside beats playlist.

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