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Whiskey Mute-Down

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Album Review

The Nether Dawn is the ambient noise project of Anthony Milton. Whiskey Mute-Down first came out as a private CD-R on Milton's own Pseudo Arcana imprint, and here it is given its first official pressing (Last Visible Dog had already reissued two albums of Milton's avant folk songs as a single-CD two-fer a few months before). The music of the Nether Dawn relies mostly on noisy guitar soundscapes, with occasional bits of percussion and other instruments, plus vocals in "If We Left in a High Storm," a piece that bears a strong resemblance to Aidan Baker's music. Whiskey Mute-Down is a bedroom project. Each track is first and foremost dominated by tape hiss, which puts every other sound at arm's length. Lo-fi sound has become as much an aesthetic decision as a necessity in this field, but — although it often sets a proper mood for the listening experience (as in Jewelled Antler Collective-related releases) — in this particular case it works against the music. Despite the very palpable distance between the listener and the music, the album has some powerful moments to offer. "Passing (Aloft)" and "Icycle Porn" would deserve to be heard more clearly. The latter, in particular, features inspired Keiji Haino-esque soloing over a shimmering metallic loop. The words "Midnight Drone Blues" have been scrawled on the back of the booklet and they provide an apt description. This is clearly not free-folk music — it has too much electricity in it. Bluesy? Yes, the same way that Keiji Haino's Black Blues, Rovi

Whiskey Mute-Down, The Nether Dawn
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  • $16.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music
  • Released: 15 May 2005

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