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CD Feature/ Wilt: "Dark Meadows"

img  Tobias

In the booklet, next to fields of decapitated trees reminiscent of the edges of Fangorn Forest in “Lord of the Rings”. James P. Keeler thanks a host of friends and “all those who continue to support our obscure creative outputs”. Now, while “nice” may be the most hated adjective on one side of the spectrum of journalistic euphemisms (generally used for overly adapted tunes), “obscure” is the exact equivalent on the other extreme: A more or less friendly way of suggesting that the material does not fit any ovious genre and sounds too strange to be appreciated by anyone but the artists involved themselves. In this case, however, the term can actually be considered a recommendation.

After all, in a neutral context, “obscure” also implies something hard to decipher and that is exactly what Wilt are after on “Dark Meadows”: Brusque ambiances, lava-like sonic tectonics, molten melodies fraying out in pools of plasmazoid primordial soup, twisted harmonies, motives hammered in granit – there is nothing this album takes for granted. Far away from the realms usually occupied by abstract electronics, industrial and ambient (be it light or dark), this is a genuine throw at a music without any obvious genre-associations. Keeler has opted for a band-like approach, leaving plenty of space to his long-time ally Dan Hall, whose guitars either cut through the simmering harmonics like fiery samurai swords or create timeless moments of idyllic calmness amidst the delirious dreamstates. For most of the time however, his contributions are not add-ons, but closely interwoven with the basic textures, making for an organic and all the same alien experience. Nothing is as it seems here, as if disorientation were a main motive and even Jeph Jerman’s piano on “Keeper of Lanterns” provides no sweet reverberations, but rather creates pulling sensations as its strings are being stretched and rubbed until point break.

What truly makes the album stand out are the constant changes in its arrangements, the way this music never accepts the status quo and discards repetition as a technique used by amateurs. Looked at it from this perspective, “obscure” also means that everyone involved with “Dark Meadows” is well aware of the fact that the world might not like it - and absolutely fine with that. On their MySpace site, Wilt claim to sound like Wilt only. With other bands, this may come across like a silly cliche. Here, it is the simple truth.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Wilt
Homepage: Wilt at MySpace
Homepage: Ad Noiseam Records

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