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Album Review

Slaves, The – “Spirits of The Sun” – [Digitalis Industries]

Thurston Hunger   5/7/2015   12-inch, A Library

Power from simplicity sounds like a corporate commercial, but
this duo from Portland, Oregon are operating on a spiritual
plane. When the first cyborg churches open, these will be their
earliest hymns. Hovering with static, but still inherently
human. Barbara Kinzle and Birch Cooper provide scintillating
dronescapes on this a 2012 release. The two pieces on Side A
track, “111” initially feeling like a matins prayer from
multiple Kinzles for four minutes till the electronic gates
are open for cascading whoosh that evaporates to find both
voices inside a canyon carved by “River”…their voices rise
becoming angels trapped in a high-voltage mesh sky net. On
the flip side “The Field” is plowed by four deep bass pedal
hum notes…not a voice to be found here. This is the soil
bed for what follows, “Born Into Light”, Cooper unfurling
via vocoder, Kinzle climbing up tree branches that vanish
in clouds, five minutes in tidal waves of sound rise up,
and with a proper sound system the low end notes will
float ALL of your ribs. By 8.5 minutes in, you are no
longer human. Such a great example of power drone again
from masters of the craft, a tremendous blend of organic
and inorganic. Color me curious about their other related
projects like the Oregon Painting Society…
-Thurston Hunger

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