Boomkat Product Review:
'Sending Up A Spiral Of' is US sound artist Sydney Spann's first vinyl release, and works as a neatly-presented introduction to their idiosyncratic catalog. Using environmental recordings, vocals, sine tones and rough, tactile sounds, Spann brings attention to the language and love of care workers, working obscure lullabies into her peculiar compositions.
Only a few seconds into the 20-minute title track of 'Sending Up A Spiral Of', it's pretty clear we're in for something special. Spann's voice echoes gently over church bells and pastoral ambience, sounding as if they're singing while washing rags in a metal pot; resonant clanks are splayed into dissociated echoes, and a single sine tone hangs in the background like an errant hum. It's not music that's particularly easy to decipher, but it's fascinating to unravel as it evolves and the sine tones grow into a symphonic whirr, footsteps and outdoor sounds turning into de facto rhythms. Spann's voice disappears into the thrumming drones, that vibrate and oscillate against each other as Spann adds looped insect chirps, radio static and microscopic touches that only reveal themselves on multiple listens.
The rest of the album is split into smaller chunks, but is no less riveting. Spann's lullabies are cut into shreds and cassette taped to add a warm layer of grit on 'Cow, Cow, Cow...', and on 'Possession' they structure a more traditional song, hushing "baby, baby" over cool, organ-like synths. Their tones are split into animalistic vocalizations on 'Love Undoes Me Every Day' - sharp intakes of breath and emotional cries, and on 'Purposeful Evening' strike an unsettling, mournful tone over gloomy synth drones that wobble under the tape hiss. Deeply affecting music, 'Sending Up A Spiral Of' is the kind of deeply personal, charged and expertly sculpted material that should appeal to anyone into Robert Ashley or Henning Christiansen. Massive recommendation.