Sulk Rooms & The Incidental Crack - Split
Released: July 7
Released through Waxing Crescent Records, Split is a captivating if not somewhat asymmetrical collaboration between ambient artist Sulk Rooms (Thomas Ragsdale) and electronic experimenters The Incidental Crack. The album starts off with Ragsdale's contribution "Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear," a more than twenty minute sprawling ambient track filled with thick and luscious pad work. The slow moving track consists of a long evolution as the sonic texture slowly mutates from low and dark textures to an eventual lighter texture than subsides to leave us with a bit of hollow-sounding ambiance to end the track. It certainly feels as if something is slowly approaching from behind, like watching another car on the road slowly catch up before eventually passing us by. Hence, its appropriate title.
The second half of the EP is steered entirely by The Incidental Crack and opens up with a found sound inflected ambient track, but the path they take veers sharply following this first track. As we come to "Lawnmower Death And Subsequent Resurrection," the tone shifts from one of muted and discrete sound to overt noise. The track begins with the loud sound of a lawnmower going back and forth until giving way to chugging arpeggiated bass noises and a wispy ambient background. The final track, "Bus Stops In Wigan," reverses this dynamic by beginning with the subtle and wispy sounds then growing in volume with the sounds of chanting, presumably in a stadium of some sort until falling quiet once again. The contrast between the two parts of this album is considerable but it is quite fantastic that the two halves are able to be rectified in a way that creates a cohesive listen.