Bleeding in Behind Pastel Screens

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This is a very strange album. Multi-instrumentalist Aranos had previously worked with Nurse With Wounds' Steven Stapleton and Current 93's David Tibet. Drummer Jon Mueller and guitarist Chris Rosenau, both into electronics and free improvisation, were together in experimental/post-rock bands Pele and Telecognac. The result of their three-way collaboration, Bleeding in Behind Pastel Screens, draws from all that background, blending warped post-rock songs, experimental electronica, abstract free improv, and a few oddities of their own along the way. This puzzling CD is not without artistic beauty, but requires many listens in order to find some sense throughout all the disparate bits and pieces forming this studio collage. Was this an attempt to create a time capsule containing examples of all of the three musicians' diverse musical activities? "The Other Is B Flat" opens with the sound of Chinese cymbals rubbed against each other; it sounds like this is going to be like one of Rosenau's sparse constructions (as featured on Folktales) -- but no, an electronic loop and an acoustic guitar come in, establishing a song mood, and here one thinks of Telecognac. Aranos adds some light violin work and the whole process is reversed after seven minutes. This first, very trippy experience is followed by "Monstrous Majority Muddle," a crudely edited sound collage. That's where the listener gets lost. From one track to the next, very little is left to set your feet on. Mention must be made of the beautiful "Now Sparkling Ice," a piece with surprisingly soothing choir-like vocals. Recommended only for the experimental kind, Bleeding in Behind Pastel Screens is beautifully packaged (like most of the releases on Crouton) and limited to 500 numbered copies, making it a collector's item.

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