Bret Hart – “December Sketches” (self-released 2014, Download)

Homemade music veteran Bret Hart’s December Sketches is a collection of loop experimentation tunes where he uses a pedalboard configuration to send his instruments and electronics before being fed into the looper.

I like the quirky yet nonetheless seamless flow of Graham Crackers, as Bret plays melodic leads to the various looped patterns which include machine-like crunches, off-kilter stabs of notes, and other sundry sounds. LALALALALA sounds at first like an outtake from a late 70s Residents’ album played at a nicely drugged half speed. The strange La-La-La’ing voices give it much of the Residents feel, and added to that are sludgy stoned bass (or guitar), freaky guitar licks that sounds like Mike Radledge Soft Machine keys, and it’s all anchored by dosed percussion. This is fucked up Psychedelic surrealism clunking along at a chaotically measured slow motion pace and seriously messin’ with your head. Working the Oracle kicks off with high intensity yet atmospheric blasts of sound, devolving into a chaotic symphony of harmoniously out of sync Psych guitars, some noisily harsh and others noisily melodic. Another Graham Cracker once again finds that oddball balance between eardrum searing harshness and pleasant melody. I like the multiple guitar leads, all of which have a different sound, all to varying degrees being noise infused acidic, and drifting along at a clunky dope flowing pace. Fuzzy Sketch of Tulips is a melodic, whimsical, and lysergically surreal tune. Debutante Comes Out lays down incessantly repetitive electronic blasts that sound like we’re in Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory. Bret starts playing the riff to the Beatles’ Day Tripper, zoning and jamming at the same drugged drifting pace that characterizes most of these tunes. One of the leads has a beautifully sing-song but sporadically acid damaged quality that feels like Fripp meets Hendrix on the Star Spangled Banner, making for another symphony of freaky brain fuckedness. Its fer what ails ya. Finally, PorcuPie Ala Mode sounds like Captain Beefheart styled Blues played by Psychedelic Industrial Stoner Noise artists from space.

It’s creatively crazy stuff and if you’ve read this far then get ye forth quickly to Bret’s Soundcloud page where you can hear it all for yourself.

Stream and download December Sketches at:
Click the Vimeo link in the top-right corner of the Soundcloud page to see a video of Bret explaining the pedal board he used.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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