C. Worth - Duga
(2016 Unread Records and Tapes)
A geiger counter sounds a salvo of throaty crackles - recorded on the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Duga's barren soundscapes feel like a Camcorder's record of a wasteland filmed by a crew of a hazmat-clad documentarians. Wheezes of feedback drift through a lattice of tinny six-string noodling as rusted and misshapen and a long-abandoned playground's jungle gym or the gutted remains of a brutalist housing complex. The greyscale terrain decays beneath the camera's grainy distortion.
Though his improvised creations are about as inviting as untreated concrete crowned with barbed wire, there's something scarily soothing about C. Worth's new tape. Surrendering to its abyssal drone is like surveying the pool beneath the towering high dive you're standing on or giving into sleep after an exhausting day at work. Duga is a void worth jumping into - it's a cannonball into the deep in; a few hours worth of dreamless sleep in the afternoon. Melding the needly twang of a Carpenter-ian slasher soundtrack, the post-apocalyptic vibes of a Godspeed You! Black Emperor interlude and the narcotic whirr of an oscillating fan, this is one of the most compelling Unread Records and Tapes releases I've reviewed to date. It's sleepy, spooky and overwhelmingly bleak.