Caldera Lakes, “Caldera Lakes” tape
By Mike Pursley – January 5, 2011

What a beautiful package: clear and DVD-sized, sporting an evolutionary diagram. It’s a handsome frame for this Caldera Lakes release, which, in keeping with their practice, weaves cooing vocals into hermetically charged nests of shifting noise.Side A opens with “Contained Etherealness,” a piece for rain stick, banjo, tape noise, and trembling guitar.  It forms a heavy, electro-forest haze reminiscent of an early Animal Collective release.  The vocals and sounds make two distinct layers, superimposed to make a composite image.

“Undefined,” with its blades of helicoptering clatter and power electronic detonations, is the more ominous track of side A.  There are distant voices and a tingsha that sounds slowly, giving the song a ritualized feel.

Side B consists of a single track, “The Rune Escape.”  Bells and chimes form a pagoda-like structure that absorbs sonic decay and spits it out twice mangled.  Spoken vocals are interred underneath, reminding me of Throbbing Gristle.  The extra space to really develop a single composition is wise.  It seems the longer you swim in these lakes the better the water feels.

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