Review: Wind Tide – Journal 2020 (self-released, Mar 14)

Album cover of Journal 2020 by Wind TideWind Tide, the Littlefield, TX–based collaboration between Andrew Weathers and Gretchen Korsmo, will capture the hearts of anyone with an appreciation for subdued clatter within the very first seconds of Journal 2020. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer environmental, unintentional sounds—rainfall, chirping crickets, scrapes and swishes of branches—or ones made by human hands, for the duo makes ample use of both to craft these captivating and delicate pieces. Each exquisite texture is captured with a fidelity somewhere between the sublime stifling of tape recordings and the crystalline clarity of digital, and the result is a gorgeous, spellbinding neutrality that ambles along at a pace no faster than the organic progression of the original natural sound events, making use of an improvisatory language in which listening and making become one. The distant hisses, sparse feedback squeals, and loose granular ambience of “Western Oklahoma” evoke the hermetic magic of Michael Barthel’s Stapel. Efeu-Fährten, while “Palo Duro” crowds up front with incessant sawing, miniature machinations, words and whistles filtered through grime-choked mesh, and innocuous, offhand clunks like the sound of getting the last drops of pasta sauce out of the jar. For me this is one of those releases that I know I’ll have to listen to a million times (give or take) to fully process how much I love it.

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