Label: Elevator Bath
Austin's Andrew Anderson has released a number of solo cassettes (as well as an album with Thor Harris - see their duo, THAA's excellent 2020 album, Against Permanence). Vagrancies, Anderson's debut for Elevator Bath, however, is arguably his most ambitious and accomplished work to date. Each of Anderson's primary concerns is represented fully in this new collection. Mangled tapes, unidentifiable instruments, electronic wizardry, and wide-ranging found sounds / field recordings join forces here to create a kind of audio journal of paranormal phenomena.
The various components utilized for Vagrancies (explicated in the album's liner notes) may seem somewhat familiar to the phonographically inclined, but of course the devil is in the details and the ghost is in the machine. Andrew Anderson's deft attention to the finer points of the audio spectrum ensure that his voice is uniquely potent. His precisely articulated renderings of nature give way to abstracted, blown-out howls of roaming phantoms, their distant calls lingering well beyond the strictly audial. Grounded, recognizable sounds blend, clash, and blend again with unearthly fragments, suggesting the liminal spaces between movements, the work of shifting from one terrain to another. Anderson's work serves to navigate these transitional realms. This album offers a sonic depiction of those barely perceptible footprints left by unseen specters. They may shuffle about amid restless leaves and windchimes before moving on to the next haunting, but the places where those feet tread retain the memories of their presence, forever marked by their vicissitudes and vagrancies.
Though these recordings do not provide any specific guidance, astute listeners may at least have some idea of what to expect when they inevitably become vagrants themselves. Celebration, piano, noise, Hill Country night, vacant apartment balcony, bowed twelve string, contact mic on cat fur, frozen American flag during ice storm, cars over bridge, birds under bridge, static, piano string harp*, spirit box, compressed air, mother's backyard+, tape destruction, voice mail, protest, all recorded at various homes and fields, + 2011, 2020-2021.
All tracks, field recordings, and instruments by Andrew Anderson, except * by Thor Harris in the track, "Vagrancies."