Review: Angel Archer – S/T


This trio understand that the essence of a truly transcendent experience is ambiguity: a material disobedience that ignores the boundaries that confine and corporeally categorise. That’s why the guitars refuse to hold shape and swirl like water instead. It’s why the voices eschew clear communication to slip blearily between vowels and beneath reverberant mediation, and why the crackle of old tapes trigger the vague memory of nothing in particular. The resultant sound is a shimmering non-place; a contradiction of co-ordinates whose manifestation is not in trees and buildings and pathways, but as sensation: a levitation away from the anchorage of location and belonging, and toward an existence in floating, psychedelic negative. Through this accrual of instrumental murmurs and FX, I am dragged into the margins between things.

These tracks all fall between 8 and 11 minutes, yet there’s a moment during each when the trio seem to stray beyond all discernible exits – a characteristic I’ve also observed in the psychonautic explorations of My Cat Is An Alien and Zoviet France – which strands them in hypothetical infinity. For example, as the synthesiser sloshes back and forth between two notes on “The Birds Wrap Themselves…”, acting as a restless stage upon which staggering guitar and whimpering viola are giddy and sporadic players, I find myself doubting that the experience will ever break from its ethereal impasse and find a conclusion. There is a version of this record somewhere that transcends the durational limits of listener patience and player stamina, hovering behind these four beautiful pieces as spectral theory, whispering of both the sensory wonders and dissociative dangers of psychedelic immortality. And thus the potency of Angel Archer resides as much in its insinuated forever as in this detour through the realm of the finite.

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