+WILT : 7" Review : Animal Psi+
‘She Walks The Night’ is a rare treat from Josh Lay’s Husk Records - not that he isn’t keeping busy, we just never hear from him direct - and the label’s first piece of vinyl. Keeler and Hall, coming off a hectic 2009, are less of a rarity in the Wilt vehicle even when it comes to vinyl, as last year saw a split with Prurient on Bloodlust!, among many mentionable tapes. Still, the release at hand is an unmistakable act of curatorial love on Lay’s behalf, as any ambient 7” no doubt must: more Poe than Plan 9, the album stirs with pathos, half fear and half longing, and conveys this with so much atmosphere that the objects appear only through psychopathic want and not sense. The title track is admittedly gothic like a Vincent Price rendition with howling, clattering, and a rich fog of whole organ chords blow about the track; however, the sentiment remains unsettled, that is, where is “she” and where is this representation? The possibilities become more vexing when we consider the camera’s position as it moves through this sonic environment, that it walks, that is, I the listener walks, willed or no. The B side contains two brief tracks of a more stationary, therefore objective experience – “Cold Grave” and “Haunting the Chapel” – the first a guitar-singed howl, half-vacant, half-revelatory as it resonates handsomely despite a drooling loop by no means self-evident, the second a murkier fume of deep, two-chord bass grumblings and tinny noise carving deeper the grooves on the vinyl. Though the titling is likely description enough, the sounds don’t always follow from logic, and repeat listens are prompted by this fact alone (of course tastes should have dark ambient fans flipping this to no ends). For that half of you who pick up the extended edition which comes with a bonus cassette, you will find an extra twenty minutes of material to help decipher the riddle of the too-brief record. This includes the suggestions “Invocation of the Bride”, “She Lives”, and the likely lynchpin “SVF”; the tapes ends with the side long “She Walks The Night (Reprise)”, which, at twice the length of the centerpiece, extensively renders the terrain to reveal more mundane spaces in this realm of nocturnal insects, wooden floors, clocks (which though startling, would ring regardless), and some toiling which appears less than malicious. At various stages of development, these tracks vary in length and, while clearly edited-down and mixed, feature what feels like rawer takes of guitar, organ, and some unexpected samples which cut raggedly into the ghoulish tone which is so well-conveyed. 200 copies on black vinyl (100 with the cassette).