Tabs Out | Held – 8.20

Held – 8.20

3.5.19 by Ryan Masteller

Kid Smpl – um, a pseudonym for a pseudonym – is Held, and also runs Display out of Seattle, and it seems as though he was going for a Masonic number here but didn’t quite get how that whole thing works. That’s OK – we here at Tabs Out are here to help with some handy tips: First, subtract 4 from 8.20. Second, enjoy your Masonic number.

But what do I know, maybe “8.20” is for something else, a different sort of pagan code entirely. Who knows what those Display artists get up to in the Pacific Northwest, what with their twin peaks and their owl caves and their log ladies. But whatever it is they’re channeling, we the listeners are the beneficiaries, as the sounds trickle down across the country to Delaware and Florida, to Philadelphia and … that’s it. Actually, it’s a broader area than that I’m sure. I just can’t prove anything.

Held’s laser focused on something, though, something dreary and overcast and laden heavily with fog and meaning. Spanning four long-form tracks, none lasting less than ten minutes and no more than 12:32 ON THE NOSE, “8.20” hangs in the air, ambient, soft, lush, synthesizers quietly and gradually joining more atmospheric sounds. By track three, “The Hatch,” though, a decidedly delicate melody emerges, repeating itself through the haze like it’s a lone shoegaze sample caught in a steady downpour, before retreating to strict clinical electroacoustic noise. This aesthetic runs through the end of the tape, taking on weirdly sinister vibes as it progresses. Pagan indeed! What do they DO in those woods?

Kid Simpl as Held leads us down paths to obscure sound-worlds with “8.20,” each of its “quadrants” illuminating some strange and unusual behavior. It’s easy to get lost down these paths, but don’t get too lost! It’s dangerous out there in the real world – you never know what’s going to happen next.

Edition of 50; the shebang includes the following: orange C30, ink imprint, printed j-card, black Norelco case, labeled black bag, and sticker.

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