The picture may or may not be doing this tape very much justice if my screen resolution is any indication, but first hand it's definitely a winner and (not to brag, but...) we've gotten to see some beautiful j-card printing this year. Printed on a light, but stiffer than average stock, it features "two color double-sided screen-printed j-cards courtesy of Broken Press with eye popping visuals conjured by Max Clotfelter". This particular tape is the third release from Eiderdown Records (sharing Clotfelter visuals with their second, a split that includes A Story of Rats and Hellvete) and the debut for Belgian duo Gonzalez & Steenkiste. Named Stuffed With the Down of the Eider, the collaboration seems all the more momentous for the sense that its complete origins spread farther than just the two musicians, Glen Steenkiste (who records solo as Hellvete and with "psych-improv rockers" Silvester Anfang II) and Ernesto Gonzalez (Bear Bones Lay Low and also with Silvester Anfang II). The general sense of sludge (we also would have accepted "sense of slurp, blurp, sludgy, or blurpy") that Clotfelter's artwork conveys almost predicts the sound of the album it decorates, something in the dread droning of bowed cymbals in "An Evening at Sloows" suggests the proper movement, but more unexpected is the extent to which "Front Porch Rumbling" sounds exactly like the American-rural/traditional acoustic guitar-play its title evokes. "Paradise", 19 minutes long and six minutes longer than "An Evening at Sloows", is all rapturously swollen drones with a peppering of birdsong and bubbly, effervescent synth tones ever at work beneath the slow curving of its lengthy progress (that's what she said?). Though the entirety of Stuffed With the Down of the Eider may not be coming into the ashram with me this next whenever, I'd call the whole thing a pretty transcendental experience by its end and I'd at least try to get an mp3 of "Paradise" to anyone from the ashram that might be on facebook.
Stream: Gonzalez & Steenkiste, Stuffed With the Down of the Eider
Stuffed With the Down of the Eider... order it here, order it far, order it near - check out their payment scheme and send your due financial obligation to the email address up top with the details of your order. You could also contact them directly for other arrangements if you're looking to make a new email-friend.