Arabian Horses / Glina – split EP

It’s no shock that one of the best drone releases of 2012 was also a tape I spent half the year struggling to describe. Drawn to the hypnotic work of Moscow’s Arabian Horses, who’ve released a few impressive psychedelic drone recordings prior (notably Guardians of the Flame on gem of a label Full of Nothing), it was the Glina side that I found myself returning to most often and with intense curiosity. While the eighteen minute Arabian Horses track is creeping and beautiful in its strangeness, aggression and persistence punctuated by howls and ruptured guitar lines, Glina is terrifying to the level of the extraordinary. What begins as jam-y noise soon takes shape as combative, stretched dirges that remind me of both Angels in America and Kram Ran for their reckless abandon; especially Angels for their low, unnerving female vocals which also bring to mind the bleakest wails of free jazz artist Patty Waters. There is patience and there is doom. Both tracks, particularly “Protestanskaya etika,” escalate to the metal side of noise. Glina, play my birthday party. I’ll be serving thick black Kool-Aid. (Steak Au Zoo, Kristel Jax

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