The split LP is a time honored tradition in the realm of underground musics, one which has often signified an artistic and personal kinship between the participating parties. Such is the case with this split album between Mamiffer and Oakeater, to which both contribute lengthy side-long tracks. Having played numerous shows together in various forms, collabortaed live as well as in the studio, Oakeater and Mamiffer embody the idea of musical comminity, sharing an affinity for musical explorations into the murkier regions of emotionally driven sound and song craft.
Oakeater’s contribution to this split follows the trajectory previously estblished by the Chicago based group since their formation in 2006, fitting together elements of ritual ambience, cavernous drones and abstracted black metal. With “Iron Road II” they manage once again to construct a deeply affecting and clearly articulated song from seemingly nebulous sounds and materials. Over the course of 18 minutes tones generated by guitar, crackling synths and percussion collide with washes of whispering vocal howls and cyclic minor key figures to create true night time music.
Working as the sole operator in Mamiffer on this particular release, founding member Faith Coloccia makes use of heavily saturated guitar tones as the base element from which the track here is constructed. While most material on past releases has centered around acoustic and electric piano as the focal instruments, the use of guitar reveals the same core aspects that have defined Mamiffer - a great sensitivty for the emotional impact of sound, the use of sonic textures to form musical narrative, with a clearly intuitive and focused approach that manages to defy easy categorization. Though “Fake Witch” is abrasive on the surface level, deeper listening reveals ghostly beauty balanced with a palpable sense of ecstatic consciousness.