Portland duo make clarinet and synth tunes fit for Guantanamo Bay
Portland duo Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff spent two years working on ‘Seer’, their fourth album, on which they aim to make music that’s both challenging and inviting, using just a modular synthesizer and a bass clarinet. Opening track ‘Petrichor’ is certainly a trial, layering ominously ringing notes with clarinet blasts and coming on like the soundtrack to your worst nightmares, while the rest of the five-track record flits between welcoming and uncomfortable. ‘Sharp Sounds’ takes on a gentle, jazzy tone and ‘Archipelago’ is initially calm, before its tweeting birds work themselves up into a flurry of manic, unnerving chirping. Not an album for relaxing to but perhaps one the guards at Guantanamo Bay might consider piping into prisoners’ cells.