This A.R.C. Soundtracks album, ‘Archive: Volume One’, is the second release for Little Crackd Rabbit, a Manchester label that is becoming an essential dot in the avant music firmament.
‘Archive: Volume One’ is full of mournful desert sunset moans; these are songs that shiver into being, percussion like a bird settling its feathers into order. Guitars scrape, roar, and low like immense metal-throated cattle calling to each other; organs drone; drums boom like slammed doors; voices emerge from the noise, words looped and cropped, their meaning obscure; expansive psych-twisting melodic threads unravel unresolved. A sound lushly tactile; monolithic and parched; tense and storm-threatening; like staring into the gloom of a darkening plain, distant bursts of thunder echoing off the baked ground. The pace is generally creeping and exhausted; a broken-legged limp towards a horizon on fire; like a doomed and blistered Labradford collapsing with hunger in an empty river bed; the sonic equivalent of a Cormac McCarthy character wandering a blasted deadscape of roasted tree stumps and ash-filled lakes.
A.R.C. Soundtracks have made a fiercely evocative album of hot and menacingly still night-music; a fire in the dark, wolves circling in the solid black, a long way from morning.