Jason Willett/Jason Urick: "Late Night Moisturizer"/"Se Na Min" split
How serious is Wildfire Wildfire about its "Friendship" 7-inch series? It's obvious just picking one of the records up, that it is very serious. No idea what it translates into for proper vinyl-measurement standards, but these discs are thick enough you could probably put one between a pair of cinder blocks and bounce up and down on it. This split between Baltimore's two left-field music Jasons is the third behind earlier splits between Lucky Dragons and Ecstatic Sunshine, and Sandcats and Car Clutch. (On the subject of physical objects, note the naked baby cover art, presumably taken of the artists themselves at a time when Urick would consider his present white-bearded self to be Santa Claus and Willett is just beginning to identify the audio properties of a rubber band--before a concerned parent takes it away, that is.)
Flip to the Urick side first for something radically different from the slow ambient/drone rotations that made up his just-released Thrill Jockey full-length. This track is, rather, an edit of "Se Na Min," a song attributed to the West African group El Rego et Ses Commandos released last year on the barn-burning psych-groove archive African Scream Contest (Analog Africa). Via some creative delay and slowing the thing way the hell down, Urick's turned the original into a seriously bleary-eyed dub trip. Conceptually simple, but you can't argue with the results. (Side note: By personal communication, Urick mentioned that this track is a tribute of sorts to Willett and his formidable global crate-digging talent: "[Willett] turned me on to so much of that stuff when I first met him.")
The Willett side is called "Late Night Moisturizer" and if this is what the Leprechaun Caterer/True Vine guru/sometimes Half Japanese member is up to late at night, please someone get this man an Adderall prescription. More music, please. Presumably, the track is built in part with the Ekdahl Moisturizer ("Style and Error," Big Music Issue, July 15), a handmade instrument/effects tool that lets the user manipulate a series of big thick wires for an unlimited range of very strange and cool sounds--here, an underpinning of electronic whip-like lashes and hollow sprongs. (Alternatively, the song title could be a reference to jacking off, in which case Willett should really give himself more credit.) In any case, whatever that sound is, it's a cool rhythm unit in what turns out to be an extremely fun, clattering neo-tribal percussion workout. Infinitely dig-able.