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- Split by Gary War / Purple Pilgrims
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 06 November 2013
Here’s a split 12” on the reliable Upset the Rhythm from someone I know and someone I don’t. I’m familiar with Gary War from his excellent recent ‘Jared’s Lot’ LP on Spectrum Spools, with his dizzying space-age psychedelia with regular nods back to psych and prog of the ‘60s and ‘70s. It’s a gloopy sonic soup with gelatinous layers of quivering synth squelches and jangly guitars and mind-bending whooshes, lent a bit of a lo-fi bedroom feel with heavily processed vocals and guitar along with more organic sounds like a xylophone. The songwriting style is warped, brittle pop which brings to mind auteurs like Ariel Pink and R Stevie Moore, but the densely layered soundscapes he conjures up are more like a retro-futurist Spectral Park, or maybe John Maus drifting into a Syd Barrett psychosis.
On the other side there’s the ones I’ve not heard of before, Purple Pilgrims, a duo of sisters from Christchurch via Hong Kong whose only previous release was a very scarce lathe cut in 2011. They play an ethereal kind of ghostpop which owes debts to the Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star, a blurry trudge full of glassy guitar chimes and soft, warm bass and breathy, haunted vocals. It’s got quite a desolate, widescreen feel to it, in places entering territory somewhere between Ennio Morricone and recent sadcore maverick S ND Y P RL RS with drifting, spluttering distorted guitar chords ringing out plaintively. It’s understated, dreamlike music with lots of layers to get lost in, really quite magical. Amazing looking splatter vinyl too.
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