Last year I reviewed Hiraeth by Pando. I say review. What I actually did was try and convey how the madness that Adam Bryant and Matt Gagne made me feel. These two artists are genre fluid and combine field recordings, conversations, photographs and multi styles of music to create a multi-media experience. Hiraeth blew me away and puzzled me in equal measure.
“Negligible Senescence” predates “Hiraeth” . It was originally released digitally in 2016 and has been remixed by Greg Chandler of Esoteric at Priory studios in the UK. The production is great allowing the varied parts of this project to pop individually whilst melding perfectly with their compatriots. The archive conversations on “Trek through Utah Desert” layer wonderfully with the eerie eastern pipes and splashy cymbals to create an aural travel journal. Beatific mournful female vocals drift over a western bass with what could even be someone playing the spoons in the background. This is true musical collage and it’s utterly wonderful. Before I wander into the desert with Pando like some negative Scott I’d better back track to the beginning of the album.
“Residue” opens the album with a light distant rumble and a bright strum of a twelve string and a strangled Black Metal yell. Acoustic guitars, phone messages, rumbles and bubbles with some black gaze distorted riffs. “ Will you still love me when I’m gone? When I’m nothing more than the imprint of your elbow on your favourite chair?”.
I lost myself in the seven minutes of this track. When the guitars amp up and a booming bass thuds in I was already gone. Immersed in the chaotic tranquilities of Pando once more. “Runt” changes tack with a distorted slide guitar riff before dropping into what sounds like a Tarantino soundtrack , filled with recorded conversations topped by a black metal rasp singing in a country rhythm . Yeah . Normal stuff y’know. It reminds me of the band Deadbolt (if you don’t know em check em out). The sound of a pissed off redneck trucker descending on you on a lonely dirt road.
“Mommy Eats” is creepy yet wholesome. Like found sound recordings of a baby and parents bonding, plus spooky sounds and strange effects. I’m not scared. You’re scared!
“The Suite Shuffle”. Industro electronic bass beckons in an Aphex Twin vibe followed by a Lynchian melody. Black Lodge Boogie! Drone , organs, harsh electronics, gothic grandeur. Layer upon layer is added drowning my ears. I lost my way listening to it. You will too.
“The Contemporary Disposition of Accepting the Ground as Human” follows on and keeps me on a cranial walkabout.
“Allisandrina“ starts and I think it is “In My Darkest Hour “ by MegaDave. Instead it is a slice of acoustic guitar played in a rain storm. Utterly soporific and captivating.
And so….. I stumble to the end. “Ohm” saunters in, acoustic guitar in hand, followed by a raspy singer and ominous rumbles. This is the order of the day and serves as the outro for Negligible Senescence.
Again I find it hard to give this album a score. We don’t score paintings or sculpture but feel that films and music require validation by marks out of ten.
Pando create journeys. Maps and expeditions outside of the mundane . For that I give them
(9/10 Matt Mason)