Review: Komodo Haunts - Low Winged, Silken Plumes (Sangoplasmo, 2012)
Fresh from the newest Sangoplasmo Records batch, the freshman project Komodo Haunts makes an interesting move within the self-proclaimed “tropical drone” micro-movement with a slightly less “relaxation on the beach” attitude and a slightly more mysterious, almost eerie at times approach that sounds like a distant (and much more lethargic) cousin of the Sylvester Anfang II collective. At the background, there is a thick, slowly enveloping tapestry of looped, richly layered electronics and guitar noodling, upon which the improvised, lazy bass line unfolds, only occasionally rising from the sea of unidentified, hazy sounds and the moaning samples, rarely coming even close to becoming clear and understandable.
The whole sound of the cassette might be understood as a colder, more foggy take on the psych drone played by Sun Araw. An even closer comparison would be the murky coastal séance of Starving Weirdos, with the focus on making winding, field-recording filled soundscapes with no defined beginning or ending, and which could be just tiny fraction of a much bigger whole. There are vague echoes of traditional Eastern music, but this time they are reduced to mere occasional samples of singing or snippters of traditional instruments thrown into the droning, smeared mix only once in a while. The main framework of those two pieces is the drone, and it’s the basis for all the other movements within the Komodo Haunts’ music. The tape may indeed sound a little murky and detail-less at first, but within each subsequent listening there’s a thick tapestry of sounds emerging, kinda similarly to the quieter, more convoluted moments of No Neck Blues Band. Komodo Haunts fits into the psychedelic drone idiom finely and with the proper understanding of how to make the music “trippy”.
The digital version of the tape is available for free download from Komodo Haunts’ Bandcamp: