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Last update: 28.02.2018
Artist: Matt Christensen
Release date: 31.10.2016
Format: C44 cassette, CDR, digital
Duration: 43m36s (cassette), 36m24s (CDR & digital)
A3. Mountains of Fire (remix)
B1. Mountains of Fire (remix)
B2. Spending It
B3. Junk Test
B4. In Force
03. Mountains of Fire (remix)
04. Spending It
05. Junk Test
06. In Force
Chrome cassette tape, clear with red spools and translucent red case. 25 copies. €6 + p&p
Pro-CDR, sewn recycled sleeve, illustrated artwork unique to each copy. 26 numbered copies. €6 + p&p
Multi-format Bandcamp download available from us or directly from the artist. $5
»» Listen/buy via Bandcamp ««
Initially self-released digitally last June, this re-release reintroduces Prowl on two very limited physical formats, with new artwork, on the spooky date of Hallowe'en 2016.
With a spacious and jumbled style, Prowl resists categorisation. Myriad slowcore, ambient and rock leanings found in Zelienople and other Christensen solo releases combine with sputtering rhythms and sparse electronics. There's even an occasional hint of ambient dance, albeit generally led by acoustic instruments and rougher materials.
While opener 'Prowl' trundles through suggestive acid synth and distant vocals, the second track 'Crasenim' subjects the same sorts of textures to an irresistibly funky, shoegazing trance. A remixed 'Mountains of Fire' from the album Sun Worship appears here as a drumless guitar drifter. It's murkier and more languid than the original, with distant accompaniments beneath the surface. The remaining three pieces return to the same vein as the first two. 'Spending It' hums under a bashful shuffle and 'Junk Test' seems to revel in warmth and humour, while 'In Force' conveys something more ambiguous and elegant.
This is a clever and particularly adventurous member of Christensen's formidable solo discography, with shifting styles and plenty of detail to discover. Don't miss it!
Music and disc/manta ray image by Matt Christensen
Cassette sleeve design by Ben Chlapek
CDR artwork by Ben Chlapek, Matt Christensen, Donn Ha and Brian Harding
CDR sleeve design by TVEI
Sleeves made & printed in Finland
— ... a puzzling, hallucinatory episode of bellowing noise and cavernous beats. Looming organ drones, groaning bass synth patterns and a surprisingly rhythmic current of drum machine sequences run through this strange and delightful exception in the discography. Industrial in tone... smacks terrifically of... murky, plodding experimentalism... (Bandcamp Daily)
— The textures here are soft-focus, swirling, and psychedelic, but the hammering pulse underlying Prowl is a machine with a fiery heart... Prowl is a mesmeric experiment from a legendary artist. (Foreign Accents)
It's a radical departure from Christensen's work with Zelienople, but, as one may expect, it's an album that demonstrates a keen awareness of the dynamics of texture and tone. In the context of Prowl, these elements are explored in their most delicate and subtle forms, and in its field, it's an accomplished and enjoyable work. (Aural Aggravation)
— ... echoing pianos and FX, fluid warm chords and tones, crisp lightweight digital percussive sounds and occasional bleeps... it's got quality in spades... (Chain DLK)
— ... capace di traslitterare linguaggi sonori a una base strumentale diversa dal solito, conseguendo un risultato non per questo meno denso e suggestivo. (Music Won't Save You)
— Un lavoro per certi versi spiazzante che amplia ancor di più un percorso artistico già ricco di varianti. (So What)
— We've had work on the now defunct Under The Spire label, where Matt's guitar and voice took centre stage. We've had the electronica, guitar and voice laced doom of Honeymoons on Svarte Greiner's Miasmah label and this Monday, on Halloween, we now have something completely different in Prowl. (Irregular Crates)
Matt Christensen is a founding member of Chicago outfit Zelienople. The band's speciality of hybridising certain styles, from Americana, shoegaze and slow-core to ambient music and improvisation has yielded many albums and other releases since the early 2000s. Like the band's other members, Christensen is active as a solo artist. His own discography is especially sizeable, with releases dating back to 2000 under the alias Western Automatic. Primarily working with voice and guitar, Christensen's solo material has also involved synths and dabbled in electronic experimentation. Whatever the tool set, his music characteristically conveys a wonderfully dreamy pathos.
Christensen's work has also been released by Loose Thread, Digitalis, Under the Spire, Bathetic, Hairy Spider Legs and most recently, Miasmah.
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