Glochids, ‘Water on Silver’

Posted by on April 18, 2017


Lime Lodge, 11.28.16

Since launching the summer of 2015, Lime Lodge has been a low-key but consistent outpost for sonic exploration sourced from all over the world. Since then the label, helmed by Angelo Harmsworth, has released a maniacal series of LPs and tapes from the experimental jet set, including highlights from Torturing Nurse, Christian Michael Filardo, William Cody Watson, and more. Their latest quixotic chapter is Glochids’ Water on Silver, a dizzying and bizarre LP that situates itself in everything and nothing at the same time. Glochids, the solo project of Phoenix, AZ native James Roemer, has been around for nearly 20 years, but the project has remained steadfast to itself, quietly and slowly issuing sunburned swaths of sound. As Roemer recently explained in an email, “The oldest Glochids recording is an out-of-print tape called ca. 1999, recorded then and released around 2006. That music was actually not too far off from [Water on Silver]: long-form layers of slowly evolving keyboards.”

But the aural dryness and desert themes are an entirely new chapter in the project’s discography. As the label describes, Water on Silver finds Roemer uprooting his fried and dried sounds from the desert for more humid and wetter climes. It’s particularly fitting, given the project name itself: glochids are the finer, bristlier follicles found on cacti. Again, Roemer explains: “I consider it my ‘wet record,’ inspired by visits to tropical forests and fern-filled coastal woodlands, moreso than desert-inspired works of the past. Inspired by the sound of bass heard thru the wall outside the club, as much as time spent dancing inside them. Working towards an “ecology of sound:” non-hierarchical layers, from varied sources, all interdependent. Diversity strengthens; confusion instructs. Not representative of, but consistent with, the natural order of the universe.

“Yellow In Yard” sets a perfect tone with its wide-eyed meander. The track suggests a variety of musical directions without promising anything concrete. A random, throbbing low-end pulses some arrhythmic beat while ephemeral synth tones contort themselves through the frame. Oddly angled melodies bubble up from the murk as a sparse melody takes shape amidst the noise. It’s like John Carpenter fell asleep at the wheel, too stoned or drunk to give directions but still producing a worthwhile joyride nonetheless. “Coda Madera” is a brief but beautiful vignette that nods to the naturalistic, electronic expressions culled by Jan Jelinek and Andrew Pekler. Elsewhere, “Hg Language” and “Begin Acid” cue up the eerie atmospheres and peripheral panic for something oddly dreadful, albeit entirely addicting. Album centerpiece “Imnsaali” serves as a sort of travelogue to a forgotten or made up land, profiling an abandoned people with forgotten language, half-remembered scenery, and undying enthusiasm.

Overall though, the album feels fluid. These imagined field recordings and seemingly improvised synth lines ebb and flow while cyclical waves of bubbled texture and quasi-aquatic murk flow through fabricated jungles of humid sound. Floods of static and gurgling pseudo-avian wildlife permeate the scene. It’s sticky and alluring, an enticing listen full of playfulness.