9.2.21 by Matty McPherson
“Warmth and woozies,” that’s what Meadow Argus is made of! Tynan Krakoff of Columbus, OH recently revived that ol’ solo moniker for a followup to his tape from over five years ago. And yeah, there’s already a Meadow Argus III on the way! But today, we’re looking at the Meadow Argus II self-release from back in April. It’s a simple C35 kind of affair; one that is legitimately keeping me on edge as I type this up.
You see, I recently swapped boomboxes and while this older Sony model plays immaculate, the Meadow Argus tape stutters and drones before swallowing itself whole. Over and over! Perhaps it is a result of the dying polyphonic air/reed organ that ties the tape together? Well, Krakoff has also stuffed this with a litany of field recordings, pianos, and alien DNA equally as demented and destitute. Either way, it’s a listening tactic that keeps the tape’s two sides from ever letting things fall into a lull, while opening up an expansive journey through recorded warbly artifacts.
Headphones are understandably recommended and noteworthy for how well they untangle these sounds and the tape’s six tracks. Afterall, Krakoff isn’t just doing “noise for the sake of noise” here. Take Side B’s nocturnal suite. It seamlessly moves from the quicksand rupture of “amber” until a foghorn signals that it’s time for a twilight lift from a “northbound train,” a junker scaling through soot, scruff, and scowls. By the time it’s finally made landing at “shingle beach,” the previous 14-odd minutes of previous tape loops and manipulation are all elements pushing to the horizon line; things are clearing up, with a layer of what could only seem to be ham radio static and frail, busted keys guiding this cruise down to a terminal plane.
Pro-dubbed cassette tape on clear shells with imprinting, with double-sided full color artwork by Pearl Morgan. Edition of 100.