Tabs Out | Catching Up with Antiquated Future

Catching Up with Antiquated Future
12.13.18 by Ryan Masteller

PDX-based lo-fi tape label Antiquated Future has been around the block, let’s not kid ourselves. Initially begun in Olympia, Washington, around the turn of the century (if you consider 2008 the turn of the century, which I do – druid calendar, you know), AF has made quite the name for itself with not only its music releases but also its books, zines, and other assorted cool stuff you can find by digging around in their website a little bit. It’s like rummaging through a cool antique shop, but without the musty smell (which is either a good or a bad thing depending on whether you like the smell of antique shops).

But besides the fact that I’m a highly in-demand superstar editor and writer (ahem, here’s my card, email me, AF, ahem), we’re here for Antiquated Future’s music, specifically their two most recent cassette releases, Reighnbeau’s “Slight EP” and Tucker Theodore’s “LSG.” (And to prove my superstar-ness, I’ll tell you that “Reighnbeau” is not spelled correctly; it’s actually “Rainbow,” but of course that’s already taken, so.) Both tapes feature established vets: Bryce Hample’s Reighnbeau project adds Colleen Johnson (Flying Circles, Silver Shadows) and Madeline Johnston (the excellent Midwife [with Tucker Theodore – a link!], Sister Grotto), two singers who will, when combined, give promo proofreaders nightmares forever. Then there’s the prolific Mr. Theodore, known for his experimental guitar explorations. Looks like November was a good release month for Antiquated Future!

 

Reighnbeau – Slight EP
Slight, nothing; Reighnbeau’s a dense configuration, an opaque cloud of electrofolk goodness that shifts its shape from moment to moment. Hample’s production is top notch – the doors of my expectations have completely been blown of their hinges. I admit, I approached this tape with Midwife in my head, and while the head-down gauzy shoegaze thing is fantastic, this is straight digital candy, sugar rushes of electronics and pop flourishes that remain stuck to your ear canals long after the songs end. And the vocals – oh, the vocals. They’re gorgeous. Johnson and Johnston do a lot of heavy lifting in the melody department, their angelic presence hovering over the songs and elevating them to sheer euphoria. Dare I continue to listen long after the EP has begun to repeat? I dare – bellyache from ingesting too much of a good thing be damned.

 

Tucker Theodore – LSG
Theodore, who as I’ve noted also performs in Midwife with Madeline Johnston, is simply a guitar GENIUS (like that’s a surprise to anyone). Here on “LSG” he stretches out over ten “movements,” packed tightly together on each side of the tape, “Movements 1–6” on the A and “7–10” on the flip. He recorded everything by himself in his studio called “Inanambulancerecordings,” which has “now relocated to a hayloft in a barn in New Hampshire,” in case you’re wondering what to plug into your Google Maps. So consider that rural reclusiveness when you approach LSG, which meanders from solo guitar passages to, ahem, “full band” freakouts with relative ease, the feedback mixing with the half-speed acoustic Fahey-isms and ambient backmasking and effects-laden drifts. Packed away in that environment, Theodore was able to experiment as he pleased, and the result is a sheer post-rock cornucopia (if I may, considering Thanksgiving isn’t far in our rearview), scrabbling around every stylistic corner that designation has come to represent.

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