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Demian Castellanos - The Kyvu Tapes Vol. 1 (1990-1998) (2015) review


Demian Castellanos "The Kyvu Tapes Vol. 1 (1990-1998)"

Castellanos has been releasing some amazing music with his band The Oscillation for about a decade now, but 25 years ago he started noodling around with his guitar, extracting a myriad of sounds and effects that have stood him well throughout his career. So here we get to hear the formative years – what turned him on, how many different sounds he could get out of his axe and what different implements would have on the overall output – playing with forks, knives, paper, and oodles of fx pedals.
So prepare for tons of backwards loops, ambient soundscapes, and assorted post rock weirdness that’s sure to please fans of other post rock guitar heads like Jason DiEmilio’s Azusa Plane, Vini Reilly’s Durutti Column, as well as Stars Of The Lid and Robert Fripp’swork with Eno and his Frippertronics and League of Crafty Guitarists.
This is a relaxing, easy listening experience full of loopy, bubbling effects (‘Decaying’), swirling, sci-fi otherwierdly bleeps and bloops (‘Time Slip’), and meditative, Eastern-inflected navel gazers (‘Lizard Raga’). Heck, there’s even a neat little ditty that emulates the pealing church bells of your local cathedral (‘Photon Waterfall.)! Other tracks reflect his influences (‘Afterthought’, in particular, could have been a Durutti Column outtake and ‘Headless Aztec’ is pretty darn close to Azusa Plane’s more, how shall I say, “wilder” sonic explorations (cf. The Highway’s Jammed With Broken Heroes, America Is Dreaming Of Universal String Theory). But snorecoreaficionadoswill be equally at home with the ambient passages (‘Particle Suspension’ and the eerie, 2001-ish ‘Gateway’). Highly recommended, whether you “oscillate’ or just enjoy spacing out to ambient atmospherics.

Review made by Jeff Penczak/2015
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