(New Album Review) Dolphin Midwives- Orchid Milk

Dolphin Midwives is a solo project of multi-instrumentalist and sound artist Sage Fisher, one third of the always soulful and exploratory Portland-based post-rock group Waver Clamor Bellow. Her self-released tape Orchid Milk will surely be the watershed release for what she’s had cooking for the last two or so years.

Sage works ever-so-carefully to re-contextualize acoustic instruments (namely lever harp and zither, for the most part) into mind-manifesting soundscapes via unusual treatments and ethereal looping. Wordless vocals beckon you along the journey and further give the sense of ancient vibrations unfolding. A piece like “(((castleshell)))” conveys more cavernous imagery through a swelling drone and dreamily tumbling and overlapping reversed acoustic textures than some people bother to do with whole studios worth of equipment. Another artist who ought to make the Portland music and sound art community proud. Think perhaps of something between Grouper’s delicate drone-scapes and the territory of experimental mystics like Emerald Web and Jon Mark.

For Portland readers: Sage will be giving a show celebrating the release of the Orchid Milk tape Saturday May 21st at Kenton Masonic Lodge with the traditional Javanese music ensemble Venerable Showers of Beauty Gamelan and Dead Death, featuring experimental guitarist and Waver Clamor Bellow bandmate Paul Michael Schaefer. I hope to see you there!

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