Back in 2008 something sinister occurred up in Hamilton, Ontario, when Scott Johnson of Thoughts on Air and Jeremiah Buchan of Fossils met up for a jam session in the basement of Sonic Unyon Records. Both artists are of a similar wavelength in that neither is averse to utilizing grating sounds and uncomfortable textures to achieve their sonic aims. Thus the collaboration was a natural fit, even if the gut-wrenching, noise-drenched final product–titled Brooding Forest–was anything but natural sounding.
At first this disturbing noise–which came out under Johnson’s project Hunting Rituals–was limited to a very small tape run on Hamilton-based label Myasis Tapes in 2008. One of the 30 tapes though managed to finds its way into the hands of Sonic Youth member and underground excavator Thurston Moore. Moore then wrote about the release in his “Bull Tongue” column for Arthur magazine saying that it “unfold[ed] like a sex-sweat sheet, each rumple a dank and sensuous dream.”
In 2011, Moore then decided to re-release Brooding Forest to a wider audience under his Ecstatic Peace imprint. Apparently, Moore found Hunting Rituals’ “moist grip on psyche-scuzz blanket motion” to be worthy of greater exposure.
Tiny Mix Tapes seconded the recordings value by describing its sound as “a field recordings from deep inside some dark labyrinth of poisonous trees on the edge of the gateway to the world of the Old Gods, swarming with foot-long mosquitoes and deadly rabid beasts howling out for flesh.”
Descriptions as such might seem a bit ridiculous, but only until you listen to Brooding Forest. There really is no place for the traditional critical lexicon with recordings like these.
Review by Jamie Moore