Aloonaluna / Beru The Second Life / Premonitions and Tusks

Aloonaluna / Beru The Second Life / Premonitions and Tusks
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There's magic flowing from the landlocked city of Asheville, North Carolina; it centres on a musician and artist named Lynn Fister. The ever-vigilant curator of the cassette/art imprint known as Watery Starve Press, Fister has released some of the most dreamy tapes ever to emanate from the modern American underground. For example, the all-female Taxidermy of Unicorns compilation, which came accompanied by an art/poetry chapbook and housed in a yarn-covered shell, was an epic undertaking that bore delicious fruit from all four artists included.

This winter saw the release of the "pressed flowers" batch, a trio of cassettes, the j-cards of which came adorned with dry flora and Fister's own collage work. Aloonaluna is the name by which Fister presents her musical offerings and this split tape with L.A.'s Jessica Collins, who records as Beru, is just one of the amazing entities that arrived covered with preserved petals. Beru's single lovely incantation fills the entirety of one side of the tape, and wavers between being ghostly and glorious. Collins' spine-tingling vocals are nearly intangible, drifting along a river sparkling with plucked guitar notes and thick drone tangles. Fister offers up four compositions that are held together by the fabric that music itself is cut from. Her synthetic melodies are immediate and full of warmth, her voice delicate. A drum machine sounds as though it's falling apart in her hands as she constructs obtuse rhythms.

These two artists hover in an interstitial zone that straddles the line dividing pop and the avant-garde; their music is weird enough to be evocative but just recognizable enough to be ever-so-catchy. (Watery Starve Press)