Lots of you don’t really know much about me besides the fact that I write for this blog and work with music and art a little bit. So I thought I might use this review of the new Clearing tape “Let Go” (Solid Melts) as a place for a more in depth introduction to me and how this tape feels a little synonymous with where I live.
Lets get started, my name is Christian Filardo and I live in Tempe, Arizona in a house right next to a frat house. I go to art school at the world-renowned business school Arizona State University. I occasionally make art and play shows but often I stay inside my house and work on “me” stuff. My house backs up to a posh student living community with security cameras, a pool, gated bike racks, the works. Tempe is a surreal college town that isn’t really awesome when the students are in town and isn’t really awesome when the students are out of town. It just sort of “is”.
Akin to a lot of the Southwest, Tempe has a lot of strip malls, different burrito places ending in bertos, and too many motor vehicles per family. However, it’s not as bad as it sounds on paper. It’s sort of dream world, gridded out by highways and bogged down by political mistakes. Tempe is a place where you can essentially do anything you want and no one will bother you. I have been living in this house for three years and only this morning did I meet one of my neighbors because her dog escaped on New Years Eve. What I am getting at here is the fact that in this weird urban suburban hybrid concrete mess there are things happening. Which brings me back to this Clearing release. Clearing is straight up ambient music by Joseph Volmer, at least that is what it appears to be.
With music like this it is important as a listener to be open to the music taking you where it wants to take you. While “Let Go” may appear as the buy one get one free avant garde music special at the experimental wholesaler it is more than that. It is an ephemeral spirit soaker, an ambient baptism, a cleansing for your ears. In fact I would say this is the perfect album to get someone into experimental music. It’s much like Tempe in the sense that it is constantly covered in a haze that seems to slow everything. It seems one way but is actually another, a mirage of your past or a projection of your future, constantly moldable, constantly free but in the most oppressive way. What feels like forever disappears in a blink. Volmer is able to express how I feel a lot of the time in “Let Go”, and that is what makes it more than just synth pads, jangly ebow drifts, and distant delays. Let Go is a quiet influential ever changing concrete mess. That is perfect for drifting into the new year.