(2016 Album Review) Open Marriage and Proud/Father Split

One last one from 2016 that I hope will not pass you by: a mammoth of a split from my show buddy Open Marriage (Reese Lopez, of PDX) and Proud/Father (a fellow from New Orleans who likes go by the pseudonym Shining Fields). A look over Open Marriage’s Incredible Universe or Proud/Father’s gazey, collage-like Hearu Shi No Proud Father will straight-away show that neither of these guys is given to perfunctory gestures; however, this split just might be a perfectly concise introduction to the epic lo-fi ambience of their work.

Open Marriage and Proud/Father both follow a similar modus operandi: to find a spiritual space through blistering analog noise, pure saturated bliss. Open Marriage goes the way of guitar, while Proud/Father tends to utilize a mixed array of tools (he likes sampled film dialogue, for one), but they both give you that same sensation of suspended time, a meditative take on noise certainly worthy of its duration and extremes.  Ancient feels of scorched earth and rubble abound amid deafening feedback and the withering trails of ethereal loops. I suppose one could say that some noise is an exercise in freaking people out, while some of it is meant to be a particularly abstract sort of psychedelic art. I suppose you can also tell which of the two I tend to prefer.

Essential stuff– an American answer to Matthew Bower’s cosmic squall, with a cinematic transfixion and sense of wonder all its own.

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