This evocative and absorbing tape release from the Auditory Field Theory label is an album on which the young label can build further colonies of weirdness. The whole thing is soaked in horror-film ambience: a house in the woods, eldritch symbols carved into the bricks; it easily conjures disturbing associations.
‘Erotic Theology’ materialises from a white light into corporeal granules of piercing stretched tones and strafing bursts of stereo flicker. ‘Painted Geography’ pairs cyclical turns of cricket chitter with abrasive tape murk. ‘Sphinx Blood’ is one of the best pieces; filled with ringing bells and high squeaking menace, suggesting something moving out of sight, like a stairway dropping into darkness; snatches of radio burble add more tension, the ear struggling to make sense of a dialogue that may contain nothing of reason anyway. ‘Acoustic Shadow’ is a confusion of activity, fluttering birds of static, rumbling and sudden crackling flurries of noise; a whistling almost-melody adds to the uneasy atmosphere. ‘Prophet’s Silence’ is more propulsive; animal yawns, creaking metal gates and what sounds like a struggling tractor.
‘Erotic Theology’ is a transmission from a troubling dream, full of worrying sonic phenomena and uncomfortable imaginative possibilities. Beware putting it on before sleeping, you may not return.