180 gram green vinyl, limited to 250. On alt.vinyl. The perhaps verbosely named Spires That In the Sunset Rise have spent the last two years drawing inspiration from the Jazz improv players in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison. Gathered loop pedals and effects, an alto sax and a flute, and created this “Beast” of hypnotic and layered textures.
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- Beasts In The Garden by Spires That In the Sunset Rise
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Wisconsin crew Spires That In The Sunset Rise carry on weirding on ‘Beasts In the Garden’, a record that shows off their obsession with folkloric sounds and improvisational aimlessness. It might just be their prettiest work yet, replenishing motifs that sound like they could exist in an old anthropomorphic cartoon -- the rather scary Animals of Farthing Wood comes to mind as “Beasts In The Garden” switches between rushes of saxophone and heart-stopping ambient, suggesting hope and hopelessness at the same time. This adventure gets crumpled underfoot.
The band’s reverence for the baroque and the abstract comes gushing out on ‘Beasts’. At first, the record brings to mind Julia Holter and her penchant for mixing finely detailed pop music with ambient structures, and the band have her sense of flow, too -- they roll into “Schluss” as if there hasn’t been a scene change. With its intensive and up-tempo horn interplay, it sounds like they’ve stepped out of their house and into a garden where war is being waged. From there the record commits to its ambient, with “Bitchin” referencing the codification of New Age into drone a la Ariel Kalma and his organically processed works.
“Portabittaclog” is a good summation of Spires in top form, taking lovely melodies and immediately crushing them in favour of something woozier: the half sung, half spoken vocals play out over free jazz that sounds like a bee getting ready to sting. Like gardening itself, you have to dig deep into this record to find the perfect spot. I think? I have never once gardened.
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