Written by Joseph Gates
01. Leaving The Civilized World
02. Meet Me At The Station
03. Taking The Express
C. Lavender is a noise artist from the Northeastern US currently living in New York. She performs and records solo, as well as having collaborative affiliation with well-known noise groups such as Cock E.S.P. and the Laundry Room Squelchers. This is the only solo release that I have from her, but it is consistent in style with the material that I am familiar with from her. Her music is unique and dreamlike, with a wandering quality that resembles a meditative daydream. The music on this cassette gives me a very particular feeling that reminds me of the first time that I heard Can’t’s “New Secret” CD. The sounds and emotions seem to be very personal, and share the effect that release has of viewing into someone’s secret diary that they have left open for you to read. I love that release even years later for this private sort of quality that it has, and I feel the same way about this cassette as well. C. Lavender’s collaborative work leans more toward harsh noise work, but the sounds on this tape are atmospheric and soothing. Even the harsh sounds of the train on the b-side and the more aggressive moments of the first two tracks have an ambient, relaxing quality to them, an industrial hum and rhythm.
The A-side of this cassette features two minimalistic, dreamy song fragments that are like a kirilian photography of an obscure scene. The repeating synth lines grow as the songs make their eventual way toward a detached and tranced-out vocal line. There is an improvisational, “spirit music” sound to this that seems like it may be influenced by shamanistic music, much in the way of early Throbbing Gristle and other industrial tape noise artists. She uses beds of synths and pushes them into harsh, high-end feedback at times, but always with a rhythmic quality to it that maintains the momentum built up by the material that came previous to it. Although the music has a dreamlike and ethereal feel to it, the overall sound of the a-side is dark in nature, with harsh sounds always lurking beneath the surface. The tracks are well-composed, and the brevity of the cassette definitely leaves me wanting to hear more stuff from C. Lavender in this vein.
The b-side seems to be based around a field recording of a train warning bell and the sound of a passing train. Very nice rhythmic industrial track that could be an untreated field recording, but it sounds incredibly layered and beautiful. Some other static’y kinds of wall noise-like textures come in and out of the mix. There are moments of violent beating, and other metal noise sounds that build up in conjunction with the sound of the train eventually, swelling up into a cascading noise wall that constantly shifts textures. The steady rhythm of the train combined with the constant noise barrage, occasionally shifting into some minimalist cracking textures, is really cool and not like any other release of its sort that I have heard. “Meet Me At The Station” shows a creative and individualistic noise artist with an ear for atmospheric textures and a creative approach to relating organic and man-made sonic textures. Although there is much on this cassette sonically that would place it within the “harsh noise” genre, the overall effect is quite hypnotic and soothing. Very much look forward to hearing future releases from this artist, there is a great deal of care and personality in this release, and it makes me crave more.