Tabs Out | New Batch – Cosmic Winnetou

New Batch – Cosmic Winnetou
8.28.18 by Ryan Masteller

I sucked in my breath and held it.

In my mind, vistas opened.

Endurance, aka Joshua Stefane, quotes Nabokov’s “Cloud, Castle, Lake” in the liners of his own “Cloud, Castle, Lake” (appended also with “Room”), a passage extolling the “inexpressible” and “unique” and “harmonious” virtues of a scene with a lake and a cloud and a castle somewhere in Central Europe. Obviously I’m no Nabokov (yet), so you get my lumpy declarations instead of masterful prose, but you’re not here for me – you’re here for Endurance. As “Cloud, Castle, Lake” becomes the physical world around you, its ambience radiating the perception of shimmering constant time in 4D stasis, you, too, will “[press your] hand to [your] heart,” like Vasili Ivanovich, “to see whether [your] heart [is] still there in order to give it away.”

The duo Navel could also exist in pastoral Old Europe, and also probably wartime Europe, depending on what part of “The Gnome’s Pond” you happen to be on at any given moment. The duo of Gage and Floyd breathe deep (*theme*) and exhale their imagination into rustic folk meditations. “The Gnome’s Pond” is as tactile an environment as it may be possible to conjure with music alone (besides Slayer’s “Reign in Blood”), and they even drop some thanks for a barn and a pond, two things obviously in close proximity to the recording of this tape and possibly in it or on it. Gage and Floyd, along with friends Rahel and Teresa, hew to the maxim that “pastoral secrecy heals the soul,” and they infuse the magic of their surroundings and this idea into a fantasy world. It’s the sonic equivalent to a book (*theme*) being written in real time.

Alex Leonard as Ebauche exists on a fault line of dense billowing ambience and black pulses, and “Formic Syntax” captures the eternal rubbing of those tectonic plates beneath the surface. The sonic upheaval takes these two ideas and mashes them together in some sort of planet-sized blender, where tranquil breathing techniques (*theme*) give way to narrative tension and release (*theme*), like books (*theme*) and tranquility (*theme*) existing on a 4D timeline (*theme*) in simultaneous grandeur. “Formic Syntax” fills your heart to the point where you want to give it to someone else, someone you love (*theme). Probably. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.

As the paramedics revived me, I vowed never to attempt to hold my breath through three full-length tapes.

All three tapes are on Günter Schlienz’s Cosmic Winnetou. The utterly astounding artwork by Adrianna Snochowska should be in a museum.

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