Dusted Reviews

Area C - Haunt

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Area C

Album: Haunt

Label: Last Visible Dog

Review date: Aug. 24, 2007

Reality/Imagination. Transmission/Reception. Digital/Analog. Sometimes, the best way to explore the relationships between two opposite concepts is to tread a line that lies directly between them, drawing equal representation from either side and manifesting a new view through the resulting contrast. Providence musician Erik Carlson and his Area C project seek through such distinctions, tapping into the boundary lines of old and new, eternity and brevity, light and dark, collapsing them in a huddled sum of disparity. For Haunt, the sophomore release under the Area C moniker, the solo project has expanded to a duo, with fellow Farfisa enthusiast Jeff Knoch contributing a variety of organ lines that add an interesting dynamic to Carlson’s guitar and sampler concoctions. The cover art reflects this compromised duality, fusing gray and white landscapes in stairstep form, spinning new geometric patterns with the dreary mixture of non-color.

In his 2005 release, Traffics and Discoveries, Carlson moved mainly by juxtaposing deep drones with a guitar shimmer, colored by momentary lapses of radio broadcasts just outside the tower’s range – fleeting instances of passing specters. The new record is the result of two long studio improvisation sessions with Knoch, polished and packaged after some minor edits. What was originally intended as a Farfisa duet expanded in the studio, taking shape of organ and guitar based drones that dip hazily into a contrast of hum and deliberate dissonance. The tones contradict themselves in a complimentary fashion, much like the concrete/abstract shifts of voice found in fellow Providence resident Keith Waldrop’s work in his three-poem collection “Haunt” (this album’s namesake). Take for example, an excerpt from “Indication”:

    EVERYTHING = not simply whatever is, but a total of what is. The notion of a universe, the notion that there is one actual and one only …

    There is no universe.

    There is no everything.

Passages like this evoke a sense of decided confusion in Waldrop’s work, plotted in hopes of luring out a reaction to his contradictions, a blatant mindfuck of concise negation. Area C is not steeped in such concision, but is much more liberated and roomy, dwelling on a subtly revolving Farfisa theme that whirls underneath guitar sheets and electronic crackle. The beauty lies in the way that the duo strives to cancel each other out, evolving harmonically as the drone undercurrent meets a variety of sonic adversaries, whether it be through the staccato organ chops of “Star Names,” the stuttered drum machine blips of “Names of Places,” or the fuzz Farfisa in “Circle Attractor Pt.1.” A thick fog surrounds the tracks constantly, ever-moving through a series of harmony and relapse, where analog keys and a processed guitar clamor and coalesce. The volume swells in lulled pulses and electronics groan from screech to grind; staggered organs shudder in attempted completion, striving for resolution above a warm blanket of drone.

Haunt recognizes the value of blurred lines and bent patterns. The improvisatory nature of the recordings is recognizable, but serves as an important part of the process, highlighting the breakdown of communication and drawing diagonals with the results. Maybe those polar opposites aren’t as far apart as they seemed.

By Cole Goins

Other Reviews of Area C

Charmed Birds Against Sorcery

The Planetarium Project

Map Of Circular Thought

Read More

View all articles by Cole Goins

Find out more about Last Visible Dog

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.