On the occasion of Elevator Bath's 10-year anniversary, the label has issued its first compilation release. This 73-minute compact disc is not a retrospective but is instead a collection of (almost) entirely exclusive material from 10 artists currently involved with Elevator Bath.
"A Cleansing Ascension" includes previously unreleased recordings from: Matt Shoemaker, Adam Pacione, Jim Haynes, Keith Berry, Rick Reed, Dale Lloyd, Colin Andrew Sheffield, James Eck Rippie, and Tom Recchion.
This is the ideal introduction to the label, offering a particularly cohesive yet varied selection of works from some of the brightest names in the experimental music community. Uneasy narrative, warm ambience, rusted drones, sine waves, field recordings, meditative composition, plus a glorious photograph on the inner sleeve (taken by Colin's father in 1971) can all be found in this single, beautiful package. Elevator Bath = "A Cleansing Ascension."
These tracks were originally released by Elevator Bath as a compact disc, available here: www.elevatorbath.com
"They don't make compilations like they used to; but this one from Elevator Bath is certainly an exception to that rule. A good percentage of the currently released compilations tend towards collections of impossible to find rarities (at best) or (at worst) a random assortment of tracks which never quite made it onto proper albums, so why not lump them all together on some disposable compilation with the good tracks just ending up on the iPod anyway. But there was a day when labels took the job of curating compilations very seriously with the artists rising to the task as well. One can think back to the Perspectives And Distortion comp from Cherry Red back in 1981, or the eccentric electronics on The Elephant Table Music Album, or those weird comps on United Dairies, or even 4AD's Lonely Is An Eyesore. Dare it be said that A Cleansing Ascension might be one of the few modern comps that even comes close to those seminal compilations of post-punk atmospherics and obscure experimentation. Elevator Bath was birthed in Texas, although relocated to Seattle in 2004; and this compilation marks the 10th anniversary of the label, which has quietly and consistently released an excellent body of deep drone construction, damaged plunderphonic collage, sound ecological research, and even a few things which are down right sublime. The heavy hitters on A Cleansing Ascension are LAFMS ring-leader Tom Recchion and the globe trotting field recordist Francisco Lopez (operating here in a more musique concrete guise), with plenty of Aquarius favorites as well: Keith Berry, Adam Pacione, Matt Shoemaker, and aQ's own Jim Haynes. Shoemaker opens the album with a synthetic soaking of midrange din and drone immaculated sculpted in a blur of mottled hiss. Pacione, Keith Berry, and label boss Colin Andrew Sheffield conjure the more lush moments of Eno's Music For Airports with remarkable flare for restraint through their smoke & mirrors. Haynes does his best Organum impersonation with a cranky motor rumbling beneath a hallowed gasp of refined long-form tones. Rick Reed moves from a Delia Derbyshire squiggle into a deep reverberant belllow. The vastly under-published Dale Lloyd generates a thick rumble dappled with bristled electronics and distant Andrew Chalk-ish half melodies. James Eck Rippie turns toward a clank and clamor of found objects scraping across the patina of vinyl surface noise and Phillip Jeck stabs at turntable manipulation. Tom Recchion's maudlin lullaby reconstitutes haunted melodies of ye olde carnival into a beguiling conclusion to the compilation. While each track is quite solid, the album also flows very well, with somber drones dominating the palette of sound although similar themes and complimentary sounds seem to return after small detours towards the heavy, the oblique, and the desolate. Highly recommended!"
- Aquarius Records
released August 5, 2008