1.23.22 by Matty McPherson
Out in the middle of Lubbock Texas, somewhere between 45th and 60th street, there stood an economically sound, yet imposing Savers thrift store. Whenever I visited Lubbock, it was a family ritual to go there even though the only thing I ever really found was an early 90s CGI VHS tape. And the cover still scares me enough to have never watched it to this day. That building is gone now though and I’m not sure what stands there. It’s been about 8 years since my Grandfather died, which marks the last time I visited West Texas.
I suppose I’m bringing this up for a couple of reasons. One, because Full Spectrum inadvertently became a liferaft of sorts to connect me to that region outside of family. The label’s 2021 output kinda casually overflowed with stone cold classic after stone cold classic, while also even courting the attention of the local Lubbock paper (I wonder if my grandma stopped her Fox News for a second, or uncle who perhaps has brushed shoulders with some of these folks, read about this). I think Andrew Weathers has not just a keen ear (for mastering), but a keen brain for convincing people something along the lines that “land is art, land is sound; make something of it.”
The second reason is that C.C. Sorensen’s Twin Mirror sounds like they went to that Savers and found every cool object – from an appliance here to a VHS there, even a random designer coat – and then made a beguiling crystalline album level statement. Sorensen has been in the Full Spectrum universe for a bit, contributing to lathe cuts and ambient orchestras, while teasing the possibility of a solo release. It has not been easy to bring this release to life, with over two years of life (in particular, a move to San Antonio that took time to settle itself) continually delaying and pushing this recording.
Twin Mirror operates seamlessly out of that, in spaces that teeter between bewildering ambient and lackadaisical jazz. The 8 zones here (built collaboratively with a hodgepodge of cool cats) all work like puzzle pieces. Sorensen summons a litany of esoteric sonic points–field recordings (“Toad Vision”), orchestrated minimalism, first-wave (read that as “good”) post-rock (“Disappearing Spirals”), hell even Mutual Benefit-style folktronica–for these singular zones that maybe won’t reach the destination, but kinda just want to chill with you on the journey. It all casually rules, and is yet another open invitation to the Full Spectrum Sonic Universe.
CC’s techniques are indeed, nifty embellishments of the synthetic and organic. They don’t supersede or interrupt each other as much as they kaleidoscopically collide–qualities an unrelated, upcoming Astral Editions release also highlight–and tango therein. Two standout tracks–Six Heart Snake and Nine Gates–enshrine that. The former starts as a jazzy guitar homage, but soon deteriorates under drones and new fangled guitar parts. It hazes away, slowly, coolly. The latter’s usage of horns impart noir characteristics that bubbly, popping drum patterns hold steady. Meanwhile, Sorensen introduces a heavy piece of modification to their voice, creating a beguiling alien counterpart that fits like a cherry on top in the state of affairs.
Even though it is January, I have a gut impulse that this music could blossom over a Texas summer. And oh yeah, you do hear a lot of frogs on this album and wonder if those sounds are from a real frog or one of ‘em Blade Runner frogs. I’m entranced not to know the answer.