Bay Area noise duo Yellow Swans’ latest is, as ever, released under a new band name in their ongoing attempt to confound record store attempts at categorisation and alphabetacisation. This time around, though, the prefix Drift seems entirely apt. This three-track, 38-minute EP of psychedelic-ambient dronescapes wafts by like an intangible fog of sound, forever drifting just beyond the point of concrete definition. Using guitar, electronics, vocals and drum machine, the Swans concoct a huge, nebulous cloud that envelopes without offering any readily grasped points of reference. The result is a retinal projection that gives each listener the opportunity to construct their own meaning and narrative. This listener was able to identify the following: seagulls and coastal fog, thrumming with tidal, submarine distortion; cavernous echoes of rituals, rites conducted under a metallic buzz-saw drone; children’s voices, either playing or screaming, under the glare of baleful mechanisms; smothered screams and rattles; a heat haze shimmer raising clouds of static and insects; rain on temples, dampening old ceremonies; irradiated seas lapping at tropical hydrogen shores; the death throes of machinery in the grip of destruction; the screaming skull of the future; total extinction. Quite a trip.
Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters
PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.
© 1999-2020 PopMatters Media, Inc. All rights reserved. PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.