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Insect Ark - Long Arms

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Artist: Insect Ark

Album: Long Arms

Label: Geweih Ritual Documents

Review date: Mar. 12, 2013

Insect Ark is the solo work of instrumentalist Dana Schechter, who has a heavy resume of work playing with others, including her own band Bee and Flower. Insect Ark sees her stepping out with a weighty drone vibe, incorporating a heaviness that tilts it more toward doom than meditation. That Insect Ark is doing a promotional tour with Aidan Baker (of Nadja) gives an indication of the feel here.

Long Arms is a 17-minute, three-song EP. All of them use layers of bass and sampled drums, with loops and layers of lap steel guitar providing the most distinct voice of each song. The claustrophobic atmosphere is weighty, but thereís an optimistic vibe running throughout.

When the percussion kicks in three minutes into the title track, itís initially disappointing; the preceding intro felt sufficient, a beautifully drawn-out space filled with low-end waves crashing against roughly-textured rocks. The percussion pushes aside a curtain and some of the air goes out of the song, but thankfully the low end comes back and the song moves forward on rolling drums and thick bass.

While the drums help propel these pieces, itís the gorgeous guitar textures, intriguing squeaks and siren calls from the lap steel guitar that add the finishing touches to each song. The triumphant, crashing chords that finish "Lift Off," and the melancholy sounds in "Symbols" leave a distinct impression.

After just 17 minutes, pressing play again comes naturally on Long Arms, which bodes well for a longer release.

By Mason Jones

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