Excepter is a pop band compared to the Double Leopards. Maybe it’s the opposite stylistic extremes of each band’s CD packaging (palm trees for one, skulls for the other), but the Double Leopards are absolute mud in contrast to most of the sounds on Excepter’s KA. On that record the swirls and layers sometimes gave way to an almost silence in between; a distant and thin layer of noise held in the very distinct individual sounds. I still have no clue how most of those sounds were made—what I’m saying is that each of them were easily discernable from one another. If those recordings were somehow paused and converted to tangible pieces, it would be possible to collect every sound piece and pile them into their respective group. Not so with the Double Leopards. Both records are a trip and a half, but Halve Maen is a liquid amalgam compared to KA’s individual and confrontational noises. The Double Leopards doom is presented with a sort of murky distance that renders it just a little bit more scary than adventuresome. Topographical maps can be made by those who have journeyed through the sounds on KA. Charting the terrain of Halve Maen is something else entirely.
So, the Double Leopards are making a slightly different type of noise compared to most in the Brooklyn noise scene. It’s not a drastic deviation; someone who doesn’t listen to this stuff might not notice the difference (read: won’t care). But for those who live in pursuit of the heaviest drone, there is much on Halve Maen to salivate over. This is the bands third full length and second for Eclipse (your friendly neighborhood, mail-order drone/psychedelic label). There isn’t much information in the CD packaging (which is ominous and beautiful) besides the song titles. “Druid Spectre” floats along like an undead funeral party. “A Hemisphere In Your Hair” spins you around, awash in swirling alien sounds. Come to think of it almost all of the ‘songs’ on this two disc set can be described in a similar fashion, although my inability to easily differentiate between sounds and songs is not at all a criticism. This is music you journey through while absorbing a thoroughly unfamiliar experience.
This brings me to the albums finale and my favorite track. “The Secret Correspondence 1 & 2” is disorienting and cerebral; stomach turning swells drone on repeat as other worldly moans mingle low in the mix until they lurch menacingly to the front. Some of these sounds are masculine and feminine, although I’m unsure as to whether they are in fact human. At the end of the song, a warm and colossal muted buzz enters and then carries the song away into silence. The immediate feeling afterwards is that you have just been planted back on Earth after an alien abduction (no drugs involved).
Speaking of drugs, be prepared to choke to death on this music if you do them.
- Andrew Iliadis
/june 1st 2005/