Villages, “Beach Pneumatic Transit”

Crawford Philleo

I love tapes. Edit for post-relevancy: I love tapes by Villages. At least his last two, an amazing drop with Hooker Vision, and an equallly astounding spool of magnetic cool from Diatom Bath. But sweet mercy, would somebody please put this stuff on wax already? Ok, ok, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here. He is on vinyl? Sweet. I'm calm now. Anyway, quite happy to hear the news that Ross Gentry (man behind this dark, dark, extremely dark, apocalyptic yet strangely comforting drone) is releasing a new tape through Bathetic Records, flagship label of his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. This preview is a great example of his work, featuring harrowing guitar, medicine man drums, a gentle-but-menacing howl, and Gentry's trademark attention to sonic detail. All great, yes, but how about this video? Created by someone who calls him/herself “The Moon Foetus,” the visuals make for the perfect backdrop to match the cloud of mystery Villages hovers within. A shadowy frame populated by shape-shifting, humanoid images that aren't quite what they seem. Elements of space and time violently disturbed in these half-frozen figures, hurling them into a truly surreal environment where even though they don't necessarily belong, they are nonetheless right at home. Do I even have to say it? Full screen. Headphones.

This tape comes in a brand new trio of releases from all-Asheville artists, and since everything I've heard coming out of that tantalizing scene of late has been incredible, not to mention that the batch belongs to the not-even-close-to-pathetic Bathetic (anyone used that joke yet? …I know, really bad), that likely means they will all be worthy a listen or fifty.

“Beach Pneumatic Transit” by Villages from Bathetic Records on Vimeo.

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