The cross-country duo of Twine have been putting out music for some time now, but I just discovered them for the first time last year with Horchata on their Resource remix/collaboration project. That disc was a good introduction to their world of sloggy sound that started with organic sources, but was run through the digital workout, resulting in something slightly sinister. That disc was slightly more beat-oriented in nature, and Recorder seems to find them working in completely different directions still, encorporating a lot more noise into the equation, but still retaining that somewhat sinister edge.
In fact, the album opens with the strum of an electric guitar on "None Some Silver," and for a few moments it sounds like it might launch into a dark post-rock track. Before too long, though, little clicks of noise flutter into the mix, and before long they're squealing and sputtering out shards of noise and glitch, all the while the dark guitar chords continue on in the background. After the track reaches a saturation point, things slowly start decaying, as the noise bursts taper and the guitar finally gasps a dying breath. "Cign" follows it up with layers of submersion tank drones spilling over a galloping soup of a beat that frays at the edges with feedback.
Just when you think the group couldn't go in any more directions, along comes "Fine Music," and the group kicks out low end programming mixed with dark drones that sounds like something Jan Jelinek might have spat out if he'd been influenced by goth music instead of jazz. Towards the end, the duo mixes in a found-sound sample of two people talking that would be simply throwaway in another other light, but because of the music its set to, takes on a haunting edge that really doesn't make sense. The album lightens up a bit during the beginning of "Player Piano," as the group dices the hell out of a piano melody, but that track soon delves back into darker recesses as well, and things don't get any lighter as they progressively mince a vocal snippet on "Factor" and again dive to the sea floor on "Curved."
As you may have guessed by now, Twine isn't a group that is interested in creating songs, traditionally speaking. Recorder is a disc of 8 tracks and nearly an hour of soundscapes, and they're alternately eerie, creepy, and sometimes downright unnerving. Given their contribution to the aforementioned Resource release, it wasn't quite what I was expecting, but their sound-manipulation skills are highly refined to say the least. If you're into groups like Coil (who they remixed on a now sold-out 7" record), or even some of the work by Fennesz, this is definitely a disc to seek out. You can't dance to it, but you can get lost in it.