(New Album Review) Ant’lrd- Sunnup

As Ant’lrd, Colin Blanton makes sound art that is at the halfway point between the really interesting offerings from synth-and-sample driven psychedelic stuff and more challenging, minimal, electro-acoustic ambient sounds. Having moved to Portland from Chicago last winter, he was a good acquisition for the musical health of our city in the ambient department…thought it was already pretty damn great to begin with!

On Sunnup Ant’lrd summons up an enveloping, expansive sonic landscape with drones, field recordings, and noise. Stray Ghost and Lost Trail make sounds similar to the ones here: the thick film of tape hiss and the arid, growling tones produced by a disparate array of gear evoke awe and mystery. The figures are distant and slightly warped, just like the filamentous sonic current that Blanton carefully layers and shapes. However, what sets Sunnup apart from other similar records is that the theme here is of an ecstatic affirmation of nature rather than a gloomy meditation on loss or the unknown. Especially on the closing title track, it is clear that this is not the sound of the remembrance of a long-lost adventure but that of the adventure that we can embark on every day. An inspiringly original album that is highly recommended to all of fans of drone and electro-acoustic music.

For all my Portland readers, I hope to see you at Ant’lrd’s next show at Turn! Turn! Turn! on Killingsworth, May 28th at 8pm. He will be appearing with M. Akers and Kyle Landstra. It’s sure to be a good one.


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