Review: Ash Charge – Ash Charge (Garden Magik, Aug 3)

reeking silver acid seas
knee high sagging fossils
winter glow through streaming concrete eyes
keening slowly… slow
fermented rise

This abstract but evocative bit of poetry is one of the few things that adorns the page for Ash Charge’s debut tape, and the unfamiliar surroundings it describes are every bit as lethargic, psychedelic, and mysterious as the music itself. The four pieces hover around ten minutes each, and every moment is steeped in swampy, humid warmth, queasy rays of light, and gorgeous decay. Ash Charge’s fluid sonic collages flow with patience and purpose, paradoxically constructing a lush, developed environment from the most fragile of materials. On just the third track, hypnotic looping tapes groan out a glowing melody, barely audible recordings of an unidentifiable rustling sound lurk beneath the murk, and a sublime guitar fragment marred with lo-fi scuzz harmonizes with contorted speech samples—and from the way in which these elements are combined and sequenced a completely enrapturing atmosphere is formed.