I grew up off Lake Michigan, so I always appreciate any chance I get to watch an ocean come to shore. No matter how grand a wave, these smaller ripples always seem to slide alongside. Near the grand wave, or the constant movement of the ocean, these smaller waves suspend that movement, giving this feeling that is constant churning and complete peace. Perfectly framed motion.
There is nothing I can convey about Pink Priest’s latest LP, Swallow Your Dreams (La Station Radar) than visual descriptions that accompany suspense; a quiet pulling. Not unlike tide. On both sides of the LP, Pink Priest — a project of prolific noisemaker, experimental artist William Cody Watson — presents two extensive droning pieces. I hesitate to even call this drone — there’s such a feeling of suspension or stillness that Watson’s work even transcends the idea of a patient hand.
On both sidelong excursions, Watson will open an extensive, synthetic theme. While that wax spins, that theme rolls forward, ever so slightly, capturing the listener in a perfectly framed state. Yet, at each moment an undercurrent appears, and before you know it, the entire scene shifts. You’ll hardly notice it; the air is so still, the sound incredibly steady.
I hesitate to call Pink Priest’s efforts “unfolding.” Yet, “suspended” doesn’t do it justice, either — these extended droning works are not just still pieces. “Framed” captures the feeling; imagine a grand theme, any theme, progressing on its path, while smaller, subtly shifting elements provide you access to that grand theme at each moment.
Each time you experience this LP, you will notice a different window into its theme. Its grand progression will not change; that’s engraved on wax. But, within those grooves, Pink Priest planted infinite undercurrents that will pull you into the grand picture.