12" on Type. Retribution Body is the project of Boston, Massachusetts-based Matthew Azevedo. A teacher at Berkley College of music, he also does THIS….. For fans of Sunn o)) and their sub tone meddling, however this is different to most modern day drone records because it is all acoustic, sparse piano and guitar tones recorded in a recital hall, instrumenting the resonance of the space itself. Debut release, and limited to 500 copies.
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- Aokigahara by Retribution Body
7/10 Jim Staff review, 23 May 2015
Retribution Body is the recording moniker of Boston-based acoustics engineer Matthew Azevedo. Aokinghara is his debut release on Type and features two 20+ minute meditations on seismic low frequency rumble. The whole album has been recorded acoustically in a concert hall, so there is an airiness and sense of space to the sound that gives it quite a different feel to other low-end drone specialists like Earth, Sunn O))) or Eleh.
The first track, ‘Sea of Trees’, opens with a mild hum that soon starts to oscillate before being augmented by what sounds like a resonant guitar drone; both sounds coiling each other and generating complex, pulsating tonal artefacts. The oscillations and filtering becomes gradually more pronounced so that we get these strange drawn-out deep vowel sounds (like a bear yawning in slow motion) and shuddering intermodulation (like my car’s engine crapping out, in slow motion). Some oceanic piano playing comes in around half-way through the first track, which I actually thinks detracts rather than adds to the music here; sometimes I just want my drone straight!
‘Sea of Stars’ fades in with some amplifier hum/static that is rudely disrupted by thunderous bursts of crumbling distortion– somehow reminding me of those staccato blasts of crazily distorted guitar we sometimes get from Keiji Haino. Again the track develops with these distressed clusters of sound punctuating an expansive drone that you can almost feel breathing in the room- an aura of mid frequency rattle riding it’s big waves. A slowly evolving melodic pattern of hanging, pitch-shifted guitar notes is introduced towards the end of the track, lending a sense of serenity to the album’s close– offering a pleasant departure from the melodramatic doominess that’s come to be associated with so much low-frequency drone music.
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