Lucas Schleicher, Dusted Magazine:
63-66 operates on a continuum of color, light, and weight, from bright streaks of white and grey that hover in the middle distance to hard flashes of opaque yellow and scrambled red, sounds that cut or fall inward or swallow up space. It’s a delicate, but still powerful effect achieved with a minimum of inputs: Olive with magnetic pickups and Owen with shortwave radios, oscillators, and paper.
63-66 begins with a stunning 20-minute assemblage of amplifier hum and metallic percussion so thin it registers as translucent film warping the light that passes through it. “63” admits solid objects too — the hard patter of plastic and steel against wood, thick bass frequencies — but folds and fades them behind a soft fog of white and silver. The effect is isolating. Color, weight, density, and texture are all presented without reference to an external body. Percussive elements snap into a void, apparent field recordings that might introduce depth level out into walls of interference, and the quiet murmur of electricity stretches out toward nothing at all; not a studio, not a garage, not another person. It’s all flashes of heat and radiation against a flat mist.
Maybe that’s why the album plays so well with a stereo — the music is hungry for that third dimension. Headphones will work too, of course, but there’s something satisfying about hearing this music unfold into a room, especially as “64” turns up the intensity with a glowing sine tone. Alone, it burns through nearly every perturbation it crosses, but Olive and Owen support it with mechanical noises and a curious buzzing anomaly that could pass for a persistent bee or a mosquito. It’s enough to make one think of flight, of the high tones as an upper limit to air travel and the low ones as the ground moving beneath, compressed to an image of geometry and imagined environments.
The final two pieces commit to a feeling of heaviness absent in the first two, with Ben and Tim’s colors and lights thickening into qualities of shape and direction, and almost into solid objects. The frayed wires and radio signals of “66,” combined with a healthy background of white noise, turn the implied intensity of “64” into a corporeal sensation, into an impression not just of shifts in audible and visual stimuli, but into bodily agitation and kinesthetic turbulence. It makes for a jittery, nervous ending intense enough to induce stress. It also provides an excellent contrast to the album’s pleasant beginning, not because it is a jarring counter-example, but because Olive and Owen show how that vigor and energy, embodied or otherwise, is implicit in color and light.
released January 30, 2016
Tim Olive: magnetic pickups
Ben Owen: shortwave radio, oscillators, paper, contact microphone
Recorded on October 25 and 28, 2014, at Middle Press in Brooklyn.
Four tracks with a total length of 54:46
Glass-mastered CD with letterpress cover by Ben Owen/Middle Press
Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.
Catalog number: 845-6
The cover sets the mood: this is music for taking in the soft glow of daybreak, for residing in the beauty and stillness of the morning before the stresses of work and the running of errands. The tracks get longer as if to prime you—it's hard to sit still and *be*, so Carlson and Stuart help you ease into such an unfamiliar state of mind. Joshua Minsoo Kim