RV Paintings
Samoa Highway
LP HMS 019

The Wire
January 2011

Ultra-fuggy 'nature jams' from Brian Pyle (Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique) and his brother Jon, with a methodology not so distant from that favoured by the Weirdos themselves: widescreen, undulating drone arcs, overlaid -- or in this case, underlaid -- with field recordings and instrumental mark-making. The album's title refers to the Pyles' home county of Humboldt in California, and its richly melodic timbre connotes a strong sense of wonder at the visual and aural richness of the region's forest landscape. Though this isn't New Age drone or Ambient Noise, more a wide-eyed, tree-hugging neo-hippy communing with the Romantic sublime. At various points piano and drums make their presences felt cogently, but all instrument detail is inexorably subsumed by drones both lulling and relentless, qualities the Pyles apparently feel characterise the landscape itself and the nature which surrounds it. -- Nick Cain