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Sunlore/Heart Land – Sunlore/Heart Land

Tequila Sunrise / Cream of Turner

These two LPs came to me with the coolest hand-made sleeves I’ve seen in ages. Beautiful, odd designs. The Sunlore sleeve is a psyched wig-out of paint and scratches and burns, looking not unlike one of the shotgun paintings of William S Burroughs smeared by Max Ernst (you can see it being made on the label website). The Heart Land sleeve is perhaps a riff on Throbbing Gristle’s original sleeve for Second Annual Report, consisting of a wrist-thick gatefold slab of industrial card and a label that should be attached to one of those TPS reports that Lumbergh was always trying to get Peter to attach in Office Space. There’s also a perfect pink little mini sleeve on both albums with all the track details; homely, odd and heartfelt.

And if the sleeves are idiosyncratic, so is the music. Sunlore’s explorations sound like explorations, as if they will be songs sometime in the near future but haven’t quite evolved yet. I haven’t decided yet whether this approach really works in the way they intended it to but there’s certainly enough interesting stuff here to make you dig deeper, to listen harder. At times they sound a little like some of the early albums by Volcano The Bear before they went, ahem, pop with Classic Erasmus Fusion (Ok, they never went pop) and they use a similarly odd blend of instruments and non-instruments: toys, pianos, organ drones, broken keyboards, bruised guitars. These fragments sound like they’ll eventually get to some pretty intense places but right now they’re just winding up in style.

Heart Land play a similar field (I think it’s the same people) though theirs is a muddier approach, a denser vision, almost a shadow of the twinkling Sunlore album. Jung would listen to these two albums and smile. Heart Land play with drones and cycles, but abandon formal structure for abstraction and flux. Genres flip in and out of the mix; slight hints of jazz (This Heat style jazz) and psychedelia and folk and Dada. Not quite beguiling yet but you’ll want to hear more.

Both albums are remarkably economical; a lot of artists would have half the tracks and simply extend the motif, hoping to bludgeon their way through repetition and familiarity. Neither of these collectives seem to want to fall into that trap; the tracks end if anything a little too quickly, giving the impression of a low boredom threshold, or a lack of tape. These albums are sighs; expect bellows in the future.

-Loki-

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