Greg Malcolm and Chad Mossholder have been creating music under the guise of Twine for many years now. While their earlier releases found them collaborating with artists such as Horchata, the duo has really reached their stride with their past two albums. On Recorder, they really seemed to drift into their own world of sound, a somewhat claustrophobic place where organic instrumentation bumps up against plenty of electronic elements. Technically, I guess it's ambient music, but it's definitely not always the soothing type.
Despite being seperated by several thousand miles (the duo works apart from one another, one living in Boulder, CO and the other in Cleveland, OH, Twine never come across as sounding pasted-together. In fact, with this newest Self-Titled release, the group has created one of the most unique and interesting recordings that I've heard in awhile. The production is flawless, and their songcraft has gotten stronger as well. "G_R_V" opens the release with slightly flanged guitar while low-end drops bounce almost randomly and disembodied voices add another spooky element. "Plectrum" keeps some of the same elements, looping a guitar while ethereal vocals float and somewhat odd vocal samples crop up. If The Books had an evil musical twin, it might sound something like Twine.
It's on "Girl Song" where the album really takes things to another level. A murky track that mixes backwards tape loops with filtered guitars and haunting vocals, the whole thing is run through a breathy filter that causes the entire track to shudder and groan with a sickly sort of life that works quite well. "Kalea Morning" takes female vocals and stretch them out into a beautiful drone, piling them in layers on top of one another while rattling, hyper-panning beats threaten to fracture the track while building and receding over the course of over 10 tension-filled minutes.
Assigning Twine a genre is pretty darn difficult given the odd music that they create. There are moments of ambient, drone, IDM, found-sound, and even industrial and gothic in their music. There are no real song structures to hook your ear, but the absolutely intense build of "Counting Off Again" (in which cut-up vocals, piano, and choppy beats all swirl and bounce off one another) and the other one-of-a-kind sound combinations on the album are inthralling nonetheless. Over the course of 9 tracks and just over an hour of music, though, the duo make a point for being some of the most talented and unique sound designers working today.