Boomkat Product Review
Some two years in the making and evidently so, 'Coasts' is the compelling collaboration between John Twells (Xela) and Matt Christensen (Zelienople) for Digitalis Industries. The two like-minded souls have been recording their sessions in various forms for years, but the substantial nature of 'Coasts' meant it just had to be released into the wider world. These two tracks were recorded over a weekend in Chicago in 2008 and later mixed at John's Seventh Door studio outside Boston, rendering two long-playing sides of foggy, ethereal drone and heavy-listening atmospheres with a petrified and spectral sensitivity. The opiated ambience of indistinct synth tones and hovering strings slowly seeps into bowed, bleak, lonely guitar notes on 'The Crate', dilapidated layers of ghostly crackle dry-foaming on the surface and dispersing with the the slow convective flow of electronic tones washing over the surface. The mood is ultimately calm and sublimated, almost freed of noticeable human intervention to sound like the pair just documented some immaculate aural phenomena. Their presence becomes far more apparent on 'Burning Bridges Together', not least for the ghostly vocals but also the tangibly expressive, cinematic chords and hand-sculpted ambient shapes looming in the inky expanses overhead. It's just an incredible set of recordings - easily making this one of the most impressive projects either artist have been involved with. Highly recommended.