Rags – Cipher Of The Infinite Moment
1.3.17 by Kat Harding
The 37th release from San Mateo, California’s ((Cave)) Recordings, Rags’ “Cipher of the Infinite Moment”, is James Seevers’ experimental journey through time and space. With each side-long, 16-minute track, it’s easy to put this on and get enveloped in the otherworldly echoes and reverberation.
Aptly titled “A Long Corridor,” the track is a long journey to the deep unknown and back to the surface. The track hums open with a buzzing guitar and underwater sounds swishing around, then moves to feature what sounds like the voice of the devil himself. Slow, low, and barely decipherable, it’s joined by a chorus of cave dwellers in an unsettling concert. Rattling bells follow, with clacking drumsticks and rolling thunder building to a swell. Around 5:30 in, simple guitar-picking echoes to near-silence while clacking and clanging continue. A pleasant electric guitar tune picks up midway through the song, with the disembodied and distorted voice coming in to strike fear in the lone listener. One can faintly make out “what are you doing?” or at least that is what I personally heard while keeping a panic attack at bay. With six minutes left of the song, Rags relapses underwater and comes up for air again. Bursting forth at almost 12 minutes in, bright reverberation screams forward, ebbing and flowing over the silence. Hurried, frantic guitar strumming comes in and suddenly Rags has the listener in a punk song. A beat of silence gives way to a clear, melancholy tune that plays the song out, ending abruptly in peace.
Where side A featured the devil, side B, “A Flickering Light,” opens with a chorus of angels, a litany of light voices finding a harmony together, soon petering out to the ramblings of a madman about movement, connection and energy, a frantic TedTalk from underground. With a buzzing behind it, the one-sided conversation continues, mentioning cosmic waves, motion, and information. By three minutes in, the track reaches sci-fi synths that then dissolve into a flamenco-inspired guitar stream. Faint voices weave in and out of the music, with reverb competing with the mysterious lecturer, this time going on about imagination and black holes. With about five minutes to go, the song is a melodic and thoughtful guitar track, with the faint choir joining in one more time. The preacher joins again, urging belief, but in what? A deep cello sound eventually ends the song, leaving the listener buzzing with existential questions.
Pick up a copy of the cassette on ((Cave)) Recordings’ Bandcamp.