It's been a while since I've written about a release featuring the humble electric guitar as it's main sound source, but that's about to change after spending a few days soaking up the music on this stunning album by Evan Caminiti.
Out on Immune Records in May this year, Night Dust is simply one of the finest guitar-based albums I've encountered in quite some time. I almost missed out on picking it up too having not realised that Evan Caminiti is a member of both Barn Owl and Higuma, two of the finest drone outfits to emerge in recent years.
According to the press release, the album was recorded in it's entirety onto a 4 track cassette machine, an approach which is refreshing these days given the availability and low cost of digital equipment. Despite it's resolutely lo-fi origins, the finished album was mastered and cut to high quality heavy vinyl stock by esteemed engineer Andreas "Lupo" Lubich at his Dubplates & Mastering plant in Berlin. This seems to have given the whole sound a luminous, beautifully saturated richness that makes for a totally engrossing listen when played through a good system. The press notes also state that Caminiti's inspiration came from "smokey blue hues and washed out lights of some of the 80’s best vampire movies." Those influences are conveyed upfront on the gorgeous album artwork.
First track 'Near Dark' begins with a rumbling drone, building in volume and resolving into a coil rattling series of finger picked notes prickling at the clouds of static and reverb. 'Moon is the Hunter' presents a more intricate flurry of picking before a wonderfully pointillistic guitar solo steps in briefly, all bent notes and overdriven amp hum. The opening blast of guitar on 'Last Blue Moments' sounds for all the world like a dissonant foghorn, the rest of the track is played out as a series of analogue electronic fugues, decaying drones and a web of semi-submerged notes. The album closes out with a pair of tracks - 'First Light I' is a short study in glissando harmonics whilst 'First Light II' cloaks it's mournful guitar lines in a miasma of tape hiss and cassette artefacts.
The whole album has such a hazy, faded and downright degraded feel to it yet each track is so incredibly textured and spacious, almost tactile. On Night Dust, Evan Caminiti has created a set of songs that are impossibly fragile and nebulous, yet are imbued with great power and resonance.
This is a breathtaking album that I can't recommend highly enough. For lovers of deep, evocative drone manipulations and of course, the humble electric guitar.
'Returning Spirits', taken from the album Night Dust;