John Rau's Ladyshapes is offering up its first official release with one-half of a split cassette with Chrome Wings for rising L.A. label Deep Tapes. Recorded at Reed College's Renn Fayre last May, one might infer that "Winch" (named for the college's old dormitory the track was recorded in) was significantly informed by lysergics or narcotics, but if I had to guess, I'd assume this was recorded without the influence of such mind-altering agents. Sounding extraordinarily lucid and mindful of each other, Ladyshapes core of John Rau, Cassidy Kane, and John Frank improvise with a multitude of fragile elements—frozen, tremoloed guitars, textural percussive scrapes, and LFO'd Juno drones—and pace them impeccably, resulting in the kind of candid ambience best suited for drawing warm bath water to. Also note a special appearance from Eternal Tapestry drummer Jed Bindeman filling out the track with auxiliary percussion.
Ladyshapes - "Winch"
Jon Jurow and Shance McDonell's Chrome Wings follow up last year's New Lands with a considerably evolved side, showcasing their growing affinity for deep sea dub and loop-based drones. Graspable layers of yeasty ambience wax and wane like cluttered tides, revealing air-dried guitars and pitch-bent keys splashing mildly through shallow snare rappings. It's hazy, late-night stuff; an appropriate contrast to Ladyshapes' comparatively spare and lucent offering.
Chrome Wings - "Signals"
The cassette is available March 3 via Deep Tapes, and you're invited to celebrate its release that evening at Little Axe Records (5012 NE 28th) with Ladyshapes, Chrome Wings, Razorguts, and DJ Raf Spielman.