Clear Moon/Ocean Roar, 180G Clear Vinyl LP & 180G Black Vinyl LP, Phil Elverum of The Microphones!
Two records that came out in 2012, packaged here as a pair.
Clear Moon is songs about a quiet life in and around a small northwest town, usually buried in fog, and the unexpected moments of clarity that briefly flash through, a resonant lone bell symbol, the glint in the water, the sudden breath.
Ocean Roar acts as a counterpoint to the soft synth walls and landscape pondering, presenting the opposite of those clear glints of awareness: a total wall of blue-grey oceanic fog, a half remembered dream of a trip through dense old growth hills to the gnarly winter ocean, in the middle of the night, decades ago. This album is the audio equivalent of the blanket of thick dark water vapor that covers the Pacific Northwest for most of the year, revealing only brief glimpses.
The sound is not lo-fi as it is sometimes called. It’s also not hi-fi. These are just crazy recordings, bigger and deeper than any real-life fjord. It’s 100% analog, and it is a sound that can only come from 15 months of studio solitude, crushing tape, riding waves of fake strings, finding new angles on “intensity”.
Ocean Roar is perhaps more experimental than the average album. Calling these things "songs" only loosely applies. These are closer to studies in sound, attempts to alter the way the brain experiences its surroundings after being subjected to endless chords, repeating note flurries, stretched drones. It's "psychedelic" in same way as seasickness or vertigo. Warmth and distortion, burning driftwood, 9 months of rain.