Kepier Widow – Absolution

With apologies to Kepier Widow and James at Rusted Tone Recordings for the tremendous delay in reviewing this tape.

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Claustrophobic field recording and found sound collage make up the bulk of Kepier Widow’s (one Manchester-based Alexander Roberts) hour of absolution here. Chunks of distorted birdsong, wind, wobbly tape, hallucinatorily decontextualised speech and all sorts of other bits and bobs gloop up, billow and occasionally waft away, leaving space for oft-wonderfully forlorn and disenchanted pads. About midway through side A is especially great. Some of it reminds me of the collage parts of GY!BE’s Lift yr skinny fists… without the dreary post-rock tedium boxing them up. It’s all rough and harsh with distortion and compression, but considerate enough to be lightly layered.

Roberts has produced a sad, slimy snail-mating of foggy tape textures and restless sample-slithering. And from the visual presentation of the artwork to the material on the tape, it’s clearly more sincere and self-aware than is typical in the underground (or overground) ambient/experimental genres. While the RTR catalogue is only a few works in (although now, finally at time of posting, five subsequent tapes have come out on the label’s strict monthly schedule), I think Absolution will stand out as one of its more unusual and satisfying releases.

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