Family Time 4-Way Split 7″

Posted by on September 27, 2013

Fam37 Split

Though I know Kevin Greenspon’s catalog of recordings well enough and I recognize Reighnbeau thanks to a review from Phil Diamond this past May, it feels like an age since my first introduction to Family Time Records; Travis Von Sydow of Rapid Youth’s debut as Ancient Crux, Interracial Coupling, which even the label admits was “basically what put Family Time on the map,” around 2010. Appropriately enough, considering this beautiful four way split 7″ that’s landed here at Decoder HQ, I think my last purchase from them was a 12″ vinyl sampler (2009/2010 was a good year for the ‘vinyl compilation’). Aside from Greenspon and Reighnbeau though, holding down the a-side, there are also tracks from two California solo projects, Doug Smith’s Light Light and Brent Mitzner’s  Torn Humorist, both new to me.

My first discovery after diving into the 7″ tracks: Reighnbeau is all over the place. The press release does a little to clarify that and why the label brought these four artists together, quoting proprietor Sam Woodson, who called the release “a showcase of community; four great artists creating brave sounds in the Western half of America.” “Brave” is right and the a-side reminds me just how versatile and engaging nearly everything that tumbles out of Kevin Greenspon’s head manages to be, but having read about Reighnbeau’s “acoustic” works from Phil’s review, I had no expectation that his contribution, “Water,” would quickly crystallize into gorgeous feedback and the interplay of hushed voices, before a far off drum machine ambled closer to the center of the mix, resolving the song into moody synth-pop with subtly inflected retro flair. In fact, I was surprised enough to spend about five minutes using web searches to verify that the digital copy of the record I had was tracklisted accurately, not out of order or mistagged. Either way, it’s certainly an interesting palette to find on what might qualify as the 7″s only conceptual “outlier,” Reighnbeau, based in Albuquerque, being the only contributor not from California. Still, Light Light and Torn Humorist’s contributions are no less appealing or cosmopolitan, with the guitar delay and drones of “Morning” turning toward a raw vein before the 7″ closes out on the polyrhythmic escapades of “Rabbit Paw”.