After yesterday’s review, as well as the fact that I’ve actually been able to read outside without a jacket on the past few days, I think we’re in need of something more… soothing. And that’s exactly what Fsik Huvnx’s new tape is (by the way, it’s much easier to pronounce the actual name of the person behind the project: David Brieske). I almost gasped aloud when I first put it on after getting it in the mail and “Distant Islands” faded into existence… the title Spires That Rise from the Earth is probably the most fitting phrase to describe the ecstatic heights this album consistently reaches, because while it hovers and dwells in a bath of seraphic glow far above us it remains steadfastly anchored to the unyielding ground. The way in which Brieske has captured these modest sounds is understated and yet unshakably exquisite; for example, “The End of a Day” is nearly eight minutes long and consists only of slow-shifting organ dirges, but its soft, muffling cocoon of hiss and distance makes the act of listening to them a much more significant experience—one that is somehow remembering, forgetting, creation, and exhumation all at once. Successive tracks add flavor with bird twitters and nature-sighs nestled in the left/right channels or densely layered, interlocking melodies that eventually meld into languid, transcendent drone symphonies like the song of a massive golden wind chime. Though I wish more of the tracks were as colorful and complex as the opener (especially with all this talk of painting), the tape as a whole gains a lot from the depth of these hermetic laments: threnodies to something no one—or, perhaps, only Brieske—remembers.
Would really recommend getting a tape copy of this… can’t really imagine listening to it any other way.