This split C30 is divided between Make Believe Bombs (a.k.a. Devin Dart, Felt Cat head honcho) and the mysterious SPERMWHALES, who from what I can gather is one Brent Grant from Maryland. Biographies aside, both artists fill up their respective sides with some quality music.
The Make Believe Bombs side consists of one track called “Pigeonkittens in the kitchen.” Guitar, keyboard, and drums create a Krautrock-inspired, post-rock sound in the first section. It them shifts from driving rock rhythms to fuzzed-out keyboard drones and riffs, before finally floating off into ethereal, spacey soundscapes. A lot of ground is covered in a relatively short time, but each section moves organically into the next, keeping the laid-back vibe intact.
SPERMWHALES switches things up a bit, but still maintains the free-flowing spirit of the A-side. The first piece, “Meta-programs,” is a blissed-out bit of synthesizer work with layers of interwoven drones careening across all frequencies to form a deeply immersive sound. “F.E.B.” is the second and final track and follows in a similar direction as the first, yet manages to push things into noisier depths. The addition of some wordless singing brings another layer of cacophony, yet the end result remains quite beautiful.
The music is great throughout both sides, but the packaging for the tape is pretty slick, too. It comes in a hand-sewn velour pouch that buttons up to keep the tape and a full-color insert warm and snuggly. Apparently, there only 21 of these tapes out in the world (I’m not certain if and where they’re still available), but thankfully, it looks like Felt Cat posts most of its out of print stuff as free downloads. It’s not up there as of yet, but definitely check this out once it is if you miss the boat on a physical copy. 8/10 -- Matt Blackall (4 August, 2010)