I’ve been a fan of Chicago based label Immune Recordings for a long time now.
The selection of their releases really marks them as one of my favorite labels operating today. They show a perfect match to my taste in music; The last album by Portland, Maine hero Micah Blue Smaldone, to the brilliant Cities by the maestro Steven R Smith and the minimalistic modern composer Rafael Anton Irisarri, to the Swedish duo Tape – all fantastic stuff.
That’s why I receive a new Immune Recordings release with a great anticipation. And, well, they did it again.
Couple of days ago, the label had released on a limited 500 copies white LP and cassette, the debut album by a duo called Cleared. The duo is maybe new, but the musicians are not. Cleared is Steven Hess (On, Locrian, Haptic, Ural Umbo) and Michael Vallera (recordings for Catholic Tapes, Reverb Worship).
Together, in Cleared, they create a dense, gloomy and dark music, consists of loops, drones and layers on layers of ambient, filtered instruments, that makes the music sound as if it was one big synth from dark ages playing there. It can function well as horror movie soundtrack, next to the worst music you’d want to hear under a very bad trip.
Although its stressful, dark mood , in the five pieces that make this brilliant album, there’s still a lot of space and freedom for imagination. Some of tracks recall of early Bardo Pond releases, some brings to mind their label mate Smith, with his Ulaan Khol trilogy, and some sounds like Eno‘s Airports, just interesting.
This album would need its time to have my mind absorb those draggy tunes, but until then, get yourself a copy of this limited edition vinyl, so you wouldn’t miss one of the best of 2011 albums. Here we go, we started the list.