The reliably excellent Kyle Iman delivers yet another mesmerizing dose of his shadowy, spectral soundscapes, though this one is bit less ominous and faintly sinister than usual. The mood on this particular tape is a rather melancholy and dreamlike one, which Iman is able to sustain beautifully and compellingly. It’s difficult to articulate what exactly makes one person’s gloomy soundscapes better those of most other people, but Kyle seems to have unerring instincts about texture, dynamics, and pacing that make his work well worth investigating. The bulk of Crawling Across the Rafters sounds like a deep fog creeping across a forlorn moor- everything blurred, indistinct, and slow moving (and rather enveloping too). I was especially impressed by the subtle use of recognizable instruments like guitars and organs: prominent enough to give the music character and substance, but never enough to be intrusive or threaten to shatter the darkly hallucinatory atmosphere. The only arguable misstep here is when Kyle contributes hushed, forlorn vocals to one of the tracks, which seemed a bit out of place- billowing, haunted dreamscapes cannot possibly benefit from the addition of words (even if they are largely moaned and indecipherable). That is a very minor quibble though- I could easily listen to this tape endlessly flip from side to side for hours. There are still a couple of Emuul releases that I haven’t tracked down yet, but this is by far my favorite of the ones I’ve heard.