ACTIVE LISTENERS CLUB.
What am I actually hearing? Even After opens with what appears to be an orchestral drool: fidgeting ride cymbal, brass microtonally mingled with woodwind, squiggles of guitar lead and feedback, arcs of choral voice. Yet those flecks of electronics throw doubt over the whole thing. Is this the sound of an ensemble or an uncanny digital depiction of one? Perhaps the title of this opening track – “A Spectre Between The Notes” – suggests the most apt means of navigating this question. Neither/nor. This record is, at its source, this irreducible ambiguity. Just as those judders of microtonal tension are sourced in neither tone individually but in their combination, the charm of Even After is how it resists collapse into explicit sources.
And these tracks are loud and vast – persistently so. They hang like the output of industrial heaters, smothering and palpably thermal, while an array of more frenetic fragments (marimba notes, circuitry failures, loose screws, coughs of field recording) scuttle over the walls. Even “calmer” moments, such as the humming pastoral warmth of the title track, are too thick with energetic potential to be ever considered truly serene. It’s this combination of enormity and charged incoherence that keeps me locked into Even After. By the end of its 27 minutes, it’s started to feel like someone shouting urgently over the din of a passing train, their words rendered unclear by the shriek of the engine. And yet, inexplicably, they only ever try to speak when the train is passing.