Nova Scotian Arms has concocted a sprawling, sophisticated catalog of winding compositions and dizzying drones. Grant Evans, who is also 1/2 of Quiet Evenings and co-curator of the Hooker Vision label, is the brains behind the entire operation. Throughout numerous releases he has shown a consistent ability to keep listeners guessing as he explores endless sonic territories. With Cult Spectrum, Evans is drowning himself in a hazy aural sea.
Like much of his work, there is a very distinct mood on Cult Spectrum. This is funereal music that is stretched to its breaking point. Distant galaxies are buried underground in a delicate mix of sounds that are as cosmic as they are organic. This duality is at play straight-off with the masterful opener, “Gathering/Composition.” Soaring in crystal skies on beds of hiss, each strained note from Evans’ Rhodes piano that emerged from the murk is an anchor keeping the song and the mood gravity-stricken. It works to perfection, drawing in the listener immediately.
Mind Over Mirrors might not be a household name, but the brain behind the project, Jaime Fennelly, has been involved in numerous acclaimed and respected projects over the last few years. Primarily known for his work as an integral member of Peeesseye, he’s also involved with Acid Birds, Manpack Variant and Phantom Limb & Bison.
‘The Voice Rolling’ is his first solo record in five years and the first under this new moniker. First and foremost, this is a harmonium record and that’s important to remember because it doesn’t sound like any other harmonium record you’ve likely heard. Nearly all of the sounds created were made using a medium-sized Indian harmonium and then processed electronically via tape echo, harmonizer and other guitar pedals. Add in the fact that it was recorded to tape and you get a dense, warm record full of grit and emotion.