For all of the albums grown in our own community gardens that I listen to on spec, few arrive to my ears so out of time and space as Sanguine Features from experimental/ambient artist, High Aura'd . On a late night's listen after a long day's toil, I put this record on (released in 12" form tonight at O'Brien's) and was whisked away to a High Aura'd world of metallic lullabies and droning clamour.
Although it might not seem like there is a whole lot of experimental music playing in Boston venues on the surface, a little digging reveals a scene with players of notable depth. High Aura'd is the nom-de-plume of musician John Kolodij-- an Ithaca, New York native who now lives in the Boston area where he both performs as High Aura'd and helps promote shows as part of Spectral Rehab. Although Kolodij has produced full-lengths releases in other formats over the past few years, as well as split casettes (one with Andre Foisy from Locrian and one with fellow Spectral Rehab'r and Type records head John Twells (Xela)), he is proud to present Sanguine Futures as his inaugural 12' LP.
In what should prove to be another interesting show at the ever-improving O'Briens (seriously look at the schedule sometime if you haven't in a while), Kolodij tells me he will be playing with John Twells and trumpeter Greg Kelley for the performance, in an effort to "better recreate parts of the record."
As for the 12" itself, it reveals a few different sides of the sonic reperetoire of High Aura'd, who works primarily with guitars. "Mercy Brown" bathes ominous field recordings that are both naturalist and otherworldly (at first it sounds like it could be birds and water, but then it could be the innerworkings of a space-craft) with in a coating of warm, reverating hums. It's a good fifteen minutes before the record gets specifically musical in "River Runs Like Jewels," where the shadows give way to plangent swells of electric guitars which, while tuneful, emerge within the stereo field in no particularly obvious pattern. "Sleep Like The Dead" provides the much needed infusion of character-rich distortion (i.e. not over-driven) and choas. It's definitely clear that Kolodij cares about his guitar sounds just as much as any astute rocker would.
Patrick Emm/Reuben Son
with DJs Ian Lawrence & John Twells
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About the authorJonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »
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