Track Premiere: Power Strip – Did I Pass?

5.12.22 by Matty McPherson

Drongo’s lo-fi basement hiss is continuing an impressive streak of tapes. Their latest artist, Seattle locals Power Strip, has a contemplative, strikingly restrained EP called no breeze out 5/18. The watery, bubbly ambient soundscapes often are hiding in the crevices of lingering haunted fragments; Power Strip’s own reference and nods towards Neil Gaiman’s work for “the children” do not go without merit. It’s a true sense of melancholy and abstract weirdness in those releases that have stuck with me (before I was a tapehead, I was a participant in the local summer reading program).

no breeze is an excellent tape to potentially put you in a summer reading mood towards contemplating ghost stories and aberrations. The minimal, hushed Did I Pass? is all based around a few droning tones and a Power Strip’s beckoning, longing voice. What it invokes more than anything I’ve heard in recent memory is a real specific sound Bradford Cox was digging at during Kranky era Deerhunter. It sounds like a lullaby, or even a paean for a past long ago, the kind of whispery pained revelations that Microcastle and Let the Blind… so easily stumbled into.

I can attest from the rest of the EP that Power Strip’s penitence for ambient is wistful and illusory. It’s an easy spell to fall into.