steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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"Cast" C20


Genre: effervescent drone

London, UK

May 2010

With an extensive discography that spans the past decade, Cheapmachines' Philip Julian has tested out many sonic configurations in his day, working extensively with both analogue and digital equipment. Cast, a 30-copy-only delight from the very intriguing Beartown label, focuses principally on the organ, but modulates its emanations with several digital effects. The resulting artifact is a resplendently blissful dronescape -- twenty minutes of indisputable, ethereal glory.

The tape begins with a tinny, sustained organ chime and builds effortlessly from these gossamer beginnings, blossoming as layers of reverb and electronics pile on top of one another, carrying the listener off on an entrancing wave of skyward majesty. It isn't a complex formula by any means, but it's remarkably effective from an aesthetic standpoint. And what ultimately matters in this sort of atmospheric music is the aesthetics. Unlike a lot of morose drone work, Cast is an uplifting, sunny venture, not intended for bedtime listening but instead for bright, bleached-out summer mornings. Pitch a tent on an uninhabited beach, bring along only a stack of books and a stereo, and put this on as the sun bleats down in the early morning. The resulting orgy of organic organ radiance (I'd stop short of deeming it orgasmic) proves to be an unmitigated delight.

cheapmachines' myspace

Extract of "Cast":
 Cast (Extract) by Cheapmachines

Michael Tau

[Vitals: limited to 30 copies, distributed by the label, released 2010]