Tabs Out | Landon Caldwell & Nick Yeck – Stauffer-Unity in Isolation

Landon Caldwell & Nick Yeck – Stauffer-Unity in Isolation

4.13.21 by Matty McPherson

Spring is here, which means a lil’ bit of rain in Southern California and an encroaching bloom of color. Anyways though, a couple months back I was going all hog wild on Hali Palombo’s Cylinder Loops — dark hauntological ambient music that conjured up all sorts of images on my Nakamichi dream machine/tape deck. I’ve been looking for a yin to that yang though, something that floats and glides the water with grace. Thus, it gives me immense pleasure to issue a Tabs Out certified AQUA JAZZ ALERT! for the following Astral Editions cassette release: Unity in Isolation

Maybe you are not familiar with what an “AJA” is; buddy don’t look at me like I’m the expert! I just make the text bold on Google Docs and know it when I feel it. And what I’m feeling right now in an immense drifting sensation, lost in the trance of Landon Caldwell’s organ drone and synthesizer keys; it’s a deviously simple ambient core you can imagine. Completely ruling side A, the seventeen minute suite, “Ugly Connection,” finds Nick Yeck-Stuaffer swirling through the ambience with his otherworldly pocket trumpet blasts. The two Crazy Doberman members had some of the most notable moments on Illusory Expansion from last year — in fact, I’m quite certain Staffer’s trumpet is the opening note! Here though, they really chew the scenery and spread out like the ocean floor. Caldwell’s hypnotic keys try to stay locked into a reverent melody as Stauffer’s trumpet playing reaches its most punchdrunk at the suite’s climax. Nevertheless, there is a featherweight unison between the gentlemen.

Side B, featuring “Dispossessed” and the title track, are further experiments into the atmospherics of Caldwell’s soundscape from “Ugly Connection.” “Dispossessed” adds foggy cymbals that rustle and creep, as Stauffer’s effects on the trumpet push its sound to its most monolithic (reminding me of the uncanny ambience of Spirit of Eden). Never once though, does it completely dominate the piece. Caldwell’s simple key loops are the real center of gravity, dissolving away to reveal an ascendant organ drone in the outro. The title track is the lushiest of the three pieces, recalling the ghosts of the previous 25 minutes until Caldwell’s synths fizzle out and you are left with only isolation. But hey! Spring is right around the corner…

First pressing of 200 with artwork by Tiny Little Hammers available here.

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