Subtle Pacific drones and sub-currents from a behind-the-scenes Bay Area sonic savant, released via San Fran crust bastion, Melters. Read Swanox’s poetic manifesto on these unique recordings:
“From the roof of Unified Stations Audio, you can look northeast towards the Bay Bridge and see a tower beginning to rise. Known simply as the “Salesforce Tower,” it is the largest building in San Francisco, and I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what the fuck it does or what the fuck it is for. But lack of comprehension is to be expected in a place so enchanting it has allowed its inhabitants to become too drunk on ideas to ask questions. Turn to the west and you stare through the clock tower of Mission High School, 90 years old and wrought from the minds and hands of the citizens, still serving the past dreamer’s commitment to their home.
It is fitting that an album as deeply contemplative should emerge between these two stark edifices to West Coast life. When I first got a glimpse into to the glistening ooze of title track Thorns, I was fully roasted, in a near state of couch-lock. As the waves of drone washed over me I saw an octopus float past, or was it a fretless bass? It was the middle of the bottom of the ocean, churning and dense. I reached for my tea and the bong. Afterwards ST and I went on the roof and gazed into the north-east.
It was soon thereafter that ST laid the whole album on me. I DL’d it and got on the bus to work at 8am. Immediately I was returned to the shimmering morning ocean that was fading behind me as the bus carried me east towards downtown. The album’s A-side is comprised of three long-form synth drones each gradually morphing like honey stretching and dripping off a spoon. Across these wide vistas, piano notes float like birds through the fog. The bus careened down Geary as the supremacy of pure tone rolled my eyes back in my head and my mind back to bed. The octopus showed up again. A trail of phosphorous followed in its wake along with some beautiful guitar and I definitely don’t give a shit that I’m late for work and wish I were even more stoned.
“Mind Meld,” the album’s massive second chapter, rises from the elemental plasma like a city. A deep steady drum intones as blankets of jewel-like synths twist upward before falling into an ominous passage of dark hisses. These night moves give way to a monolithic passage of beautiful interlocking synth lines marching like a train of elephants (or is it the rising of a tower?). I’m downtown, nearly at the foot of the modern unbidden monument to the Force of Sales as the album’s industrial waltz blooms into a tapestry of gentle pipe melodies. I go to work late and no longer stoned, amidst the future. I text S that he has described creation to me with his music and could we meet up and jam later? I’m off at 5.
This is a deep and satisfying stream in the river of West Coast New Age wrought from the instincts of a West Coast Natural, a craftsman, head, engineer, shredder, and artist working between the edges of time and ideas running amok into the horizon. Listen closely and you’ll hear the ocean, the bell, and the tower. Say hello to the octopus.”
Anthony OBC – SF, CA 4/16/17