The Gray Field Recordings “Nature Desires Nature” (Reverb Worship 2012, RW 181)

The Gray Field Recordings was formed by Oklahoma musician Rebecca Loftiss. She is often joined by violist David Salim and violinist Justin Jones. This release also features Alan Trench (ex-World Serpent, Temple Music, Orchis) on guitar and vocals, Frank Suchomel (Inalonelyplace) on bass and synth, and guest vocals by Mike Seed (The Chasms) and Lisa (The Hausfrauen Experiment).

NATURE: Opens with viola and some nice spoken word by Rebecca…then the Mike Seed vocals…it gets more and more intense and then quickly backs down to quietness and drone…yes, very nice! THE MAPLE SELDOM INWARD SOUND: A door slamming then keyboard melody by Rebecca?! More spoken words from Edmund Spencer’s “The Faerie Queene”. The vocals become very effected with strange sounds coming from all directions…beautiful, artistic…all the good things…some nice bass by Frank Suchomel. WILLOW WALY: the first sung vocals by Rebecca along with ominous viola…the vocals are almost Bjork-like…the vocals stop and there is space drone with viola, quite lovely. You have to hand it to the Reverb Worship label for consistently releasing CD’s of a very high quality!! STAR BELLS: More spoken word with abstract no-tempo strange goodness. A DESCENT: Creepy drone with tripped out vocalizations along with the spoken words of Doris Lessing’s “Briefing for a Descent Into Hell”…yeah, it’s really kinda spooky! I haven’t heard the previous Gray Field Recordings so I can’t compare them but this CD is very impressive. It is very accessible; it isn’t at all unpleasant music for the sake of being experimental. SCARED OF WOLVES: Do I hear a Alan Trench spoken vocal, he reminds me of Ken Nordine…that’s a good thing…whimsical Rebecca vocals to compliment…some intensive drone rumblings behind/beneath it all…goes into big industrial buzz and drone, pretty damn cool. Very crisp clear experimental growl mixed with ethereal beauty. HONEY LOCUST: Nice locust field recordings to open the track…along with the Honey Locust poem and synth melody, then some Frank Suchomel guitar…very impressive. CHERUBIM WHEELS: Minimal experimental noise fiddlin’ then goes into a child reciting something…then some violin…yes, it all works wonderfully together. This is a re-mastered shortened version that was released on the “Lead Into Gold” compilation. A LITTLE WORLD/IN A FIELD OR FAR AWAY: The last song, quiet wispy Rebecca sung vocals…almost 1920’s sounding tune?! Then the melody is played on a synth, doesn’t sound very 1920’s now!!…and then goes completely off the deep end into sonic guitar weirdness…an electronic roar…now the space loveliness outro!…some keyboard tinklin’…mini electronic groans and it’s over! One of the nicest, original and fresh CD’s I’ve listened to in quite a while!

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Reviewed by Carlton Crutcher

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