Ancient Ocean / Expo ’70 – Split
There are two different approaches to a similar theme on this joint LP release from Sound Of Cobra and NO=FI Recordings. Sonic travellers Expo ’70 (Justin Wright) and Ancient Ocean (John Bohannon) take on a side each, tackling themes of large-scale desolation and the subsequent rush of squeamish creation.
Bohannon’s patience balances well with Wright’s overflowing bag of tricks. Whereas ‘Waves In Caverns of Air”s formless febrility seems to seethe instantly with elemental activity, the glueish hum that grounds and surrounds ‘Decomposition Decay’ takes aeons to reach a comparable stage. If we imagine Wright presents the sound of earth developing in space, then Bohannon gives us life emerging on earth.
Initially, ‘Decomposition Decay’ allows little space in which to breathe. A long, muffled rumble gives birth to slow spasms of guitar, echoing into eternal darkness never to return. The effect is that of being lost deep down in an endless sea; floating aimlessly and calling hopelessly for help. Sheets of guitar noise sever the scene like daggers of sun shearing the surface above, breaking things down into quiet invisibility and building tentatively back up again.
Leaping from the Ancient Ocean and into Carl Sagan’s cosmic equivalent, Justin Wright eschews his guitar and returns to a synth-only sound to lay down haze and spark for a twenty-minute piece that doesn’t so much travel as drift, breeding offshoots along the way through a lazy interstellar osmosis. There’s an impish playfulness to the way he shocks light from this thick dust fug, suggesting a quickly captured selection of brainwaves escaping from the sonic bag just as soon as they get stuffed in. After great swathes of pulsating drone pass by the runaways get more and more excitable, springing off like shooting stars, settling somewhere in the vastness of it all to host a billion further creation stories. If there’s any luck they too will get