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Bass Communion – Sisters Oregon

Substantia Innominata

Bass Communion - Sisters OregonDeeply droney and rumbling, the mysterious tones of Sisters Oregon finds its source material at least in part drawn from recordings by Steven Wilson (of No-Man, Porcupine Tree and more) of a boy’s choir, though this is rarely made obvious. Other sound origins are even less identifiable, so perhaps its best to simply leave it as the latest exercise in Bass Communion‘s explorations of the wonderful world of elevated audio atmosphere.

Rippling at a speed somewhere between what would be considered rapid for a glacier yet deathly slow for an avalanche, the four parts of Sisters Oregon are split across two sides of 10” vinyl, as is the habit with releases in the Substantia Innominata series on Drone Records. This is of course best appreciated at volume, with headphones optional, but perhaps optimal for getting every last textural crepitation and rising sonic zephyr in the detail which Wilson has imbued them. When the choir’s voices are foregrounded, they are rendered beatific and far broader, processed beyond the representational and into the heights of held overtones and underpinned by an all-encompassing vibrancy that takes control of the horizontal and vertical axes.

This almost physical presence insinuates itself into every nook and cranny, not only of the external but the internal listening worlds, trembling the furniture and frontal lobes as much as it does the speaker cones both deep and deliriously. Wilson’s appreciation for the dynamics does not preclude slipping in occasional and well-judged jarring interventions that shake off the quotidian and any sense of comfortable numbess in momentary spikes and peaks among the long-form flood of sensory deceptions.

At not even half an hour long, this is a record that can take its audiences to a far-distant axis with all the time-bending psychotropic conviction of a DMT experience, though thankfully without the accompanying feelings of nausea that such things can evidently induce. Sisters Oregon is a trip to be savoured rather than rushed into though, one which leaves no unsavoury after-effects, though perhaps is still best not appreciated while driving or operating heavy machinery.

-Linus Tossio-

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