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mike shiflet - Sufferers (Extended Mixes)
Ohio's Mike Shiflet makes a welcome return to these pages with the first of two LPs for Type. He's been releasing music on a plethora of tape and CDr labels for a decade now, but really caught our attention over the last year with the tingling tonal hues of his breakthrough 'Llanos' CD and that split with KFW for Amethyst Sunset, which both revealed a matured understanding of patient, rewarding drone composition comparable with the likes of Fennesz, Kevin Drumm and Oren Ambarchi. Like the best of his ilk from the American noise scene, Mike has honed his art through countless hours of experimentation, developing a deeply instinctive feel for distorted texture and slowly unraveling arrangements, whose fidelity has naturally increased with time. The album starts out abrasive enough with the introverted shimmer of '(Sufferers)' but as the sounds get louder, they're also more defined, each separated by the individual frequency space of his microcosm. And like noise-lord Kevin Drumm, the molasses slow timing of his music is key to keeping that vital balance of tension and precipitous relief, as with the opium-fuelled hum of 'Axle Grease'. The sense of increased spatial refinement is best felt on 'Blessed And Oppressed' which blooms with a controlled technique worthy of Fennesz or Mattin. Essentially, it's so much more than just another American underground drone/noise side and entirely worthy of your time.