[2011 in Review: throuRoof, ‘Feathers & Blood’]

throuRoof’s Feathers & Blood cassette seems designed to evoke deep-seeded emotions from listeners that attune themselves to the graceful arrangements and hypnotic structures. Like a psychic depth charge, this cassette aims to blast open the murkier contents of the mind so that they can be analyzed closer in a conscious state.

Released by the Rochester label Cae-Sur-A, this cassette features two tracks, one per side, each twenty minutes in length. Both tracks are drone-based constructions that feature harmonic overlays punctuated with tones that are sustained to the limits of perception, reminiscent of the La Monte Young school of drone. And like those classic droners, throuRoof’s brand of drone leans more toward the transcendental, as opposed to the academic.

The A-side is “Birdism,” a loosely woven and organic  20-minute piece that is built on extremely simple tones with elegant phrasing that ebbs and flows like the separate breathing patterns of two people in bed and fast asleep. Punctuated with the flapping of wings and other assorted bird noises, “Birdism” creates an eerie dream-like feel that leads the listener to believe that bird sounds are not meant to be understood literally, but rather in the syntax of dream symbolism.

On the flip side is the title track where strings give way to synths and the birds are replaced with a submerged undercurrent-like beat that takes the entire track to fully emerge. This is a sprawling, more electronically based composition that Foxy Digitalis correctly described as “some sort of minimalist drone-pop.”

Put together, both sides of Feathers & Blood make up an exquisitely crafted cassette that demands repeated listens.


Review by Jamie Moore

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