Friday, October 1, 2010

MUSIC: Higuma - Haze Valley

Released September 2008 by the mighty San Francisco based Root Strata lable ( in an edition of 100 CD-Rs

Haze Valley is the debut release of San Francisco's Higuma. The duo is Evan Caminiti (who in addition to putting out consistently excellent albums with Jon Porras under the Barn Owl moniker has also released some really great solo stuff in the past couple years, notably the Psychic Mud Shrine CD on Digitalis last year and the West Winds LP on Three Lobed this year) and Lisa McGee, a name I'm still totally unfamiliar with outside of this band. Fans of Barn Owl and Caminiti's solo work will find themselves in somewhat familiar territory here: huge, deep dronescapes conjure up the vastness of the American west, sweeping vistas, vast canyons, the skulls of oxen bleached white by the merciless sun. There is something ancient and arcane sounding here. But unlike the dark, merciless terror of William Fowler Collins or Ajlivsga, artists similarly invested in Americana imagery, Higuma's music is intensely beautiful, lovely and complex, rewarding multiple excursions into its lofty, droning expanse. There is clattering percussion and guitars put on infinite delay and loop along with dense, gorgeously layered acoustics, building massive, sound drenched spaces filled with ghostly vocals, so distant themselves as to become purely instrumental. Higuma also put out Den of the Spirits this year, a vinyl only release on Digitalis and are following it up with Pacific Fog Dreams, another vinyl only deal on Root Strata.
1. The Pyramid Has Bleached The Horizon (20:11)
2. Crimson Cloud Ascension (8:22)
3. Crystal Rain Claw (8:08)
4. Winter Bloom (6:19)

Root Strata Release page (with samples)
Related Projects

Check back with Root Strata in a month or so for the new LP

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