Xiphiidae, one of several projects from Housecraft's Jeffry Astin, was one of my favorite new artists to discover last year. Jeffry consistently delivers delicately crafted sound works, and "Wake of the Hoods" is yet another piece of mysterious beauty.
Ambiguity has always played an important role in Xiphiidae's aesthetic. Field recordings played through old warbly tape decks are spliced together to create odd new atmospheres of static and buzz. Textural washes of crackling noise dance playfully on top of low end rumbles- and if you're starting to think that this sounds like a review of a harsh noise tape then think again. Somehow, Jeffry is able to weave these apparently harsh elements into a tapestry of atmospheric beauty. It's almost as if natural sounds have been magnified one hundred times- strangely familiar, yet still alien. There are even slight hints of melodies that squeeze between the sounds, so faint that they almost seem imagined.
I really appreciate the subtly of "Wake of the Hoods". Nothing is immediate, and I'm hearing new things on every listen. These sounds exist on the edge of consciousness or lost in some forgotten and scrambled memory. This is heavy dream-noise for sure, pure comforting blankets of sound to get lost inside. Perhaps it's a little too indirect for some, but if you have patience you will be rewarded. 9/10 -- Charles Franklin (12 February, 2009)