Boy this one has been sleeping on my HD for a long time! Brian Grainger hooks up with long-time partner David Tagg to delivers an epic four track EP for the US-American Ambient imprint Rope Swing Cities. It is about a year the “Sawdust Aromatics” EP has been released but the record is timeless and worth a listen no matter how old.
Recently, my focus shifted a bit from the Ambient and post structuralist music I have been reviewing for Phlow since the beginning. This is quite a natural process. But every once a while, a record hits me like a slingshot and throws me back in time. This happened for Tiago Sousa’s debut LP (available via Humming Conch soon). And it happend for “Sawdust Aromatics” by the likes of David Tagg and Brian Grainger.
Allow for a brief historical abstract. David Tagg was behind the wheel at Expanding Electronic Diversity. In 2006, David and Brian Grainger of Milieu Music met to first found a band and subsequently launch the experimental music imprints Install Sound and Second Sun Recordings, the later of which is an exclusive market place for their own collaborative music. “The Future of Modern Guitar”, as we can learn at the SSR info site.
For “Sawdust Aromatics”, Rope Swing Cities (another key player in US experimental music) compiles two songs of each Tagg and Grainger, giving a total running time of +50 minutes. Brian Graingers pieces are intensively harmonic mediations on simple guitar motives. The epic “Summer Parting Ways” exactly feels like late Summer paralysis, with a wonderful synth texture beneath delayed guitar. The howling and otherworldly processings in the later half of the song are mesmerizing.
David Tagg, in contrast, focuses less on harmonics but the Gordian entanglements of field-recordings and processed guitar. Rather sound design than song, Grainger’s composition are more easily to get into. Still, beyond the crackling textures of David Tagg’s music, a lot of goodness can be found.