Snake Eggs – Ceremony I, the cowering

Scranton, Pennsylvania based Snake Eggs has achieved about a decade’s worth of nebulous bandcamp transmissions. All tied to the long running digital label Stress Carrier. Approaching 100 releases, Stress Carrier’s discogs page is a graveyard, although their varied presence across bandcamp, facebook, and twitter do indicate that this has been a lively era long endeavor of capturing independent and experimental music in Northeastern Pennsylvania happening with great frequency. Many free downloads are abound if that sort of interests you.

With the notion of whether or not the label or Snake Eggs has done physicals before not able to be pinned down in any capacity, we should stick with what we know about their latest, Ceremony I, the cowering. “New mixtape of sorts; reassembles and recontextualizes fragments of sound into a cryptic, haunted narrative.” It’s quite a simple and inviting C34 of two long plays that do end up charting a refined execution of multi-part composition; the kind fit for the cassette format. Ceremony I, the cowering reveals depth in listening, amongst a strong fascination for global genre splicing and movement that the cassette experience does entertain most splendidly.

Phase 1 has a solid flow starting with subterranean backchannel FM and closing with rapture level ritualistic drone. For an 18 minute piece that’s a tricky proposition to set course on, but there’s a real excitement to the opening minutes of strange rhythms and voices moving through static. The sudden pivot into lo-fi indie is washed out, startled to be there itself, a piece of hypnagogia unexpected. And that is before the final eight or so minutes of deep sea ambient exploring and accelerating towards the depths of drone.

Phase 2 ups environmental sounds and effects. There’s helicopters and machine guns, a strange trip to a zone far from the garage right now. Gurgling war machines, and a low hanging spectral synth drone; the kind of a giant red sun. Well, at least that’s the opening 4ish minutes before we turn to an interlude of space machine bleeping and folk that’s artifact’d. All gives way though, to a single guitar chord that reverberates and becomes the drone under bird noises of a non-organic materiality. Again, the band seem to test the elasticity of one chord droning to carry this piece, as it transitions towards a gong’s drone that soon ebbs into a percussive clanking akin to footing and flutes likened to the highlands. It chews the idea for a while, before quickly fading out.

While Phase 2 seems to be a little more stretched on how to edits these ideas together over 15 minutes, it never ceases to be such a beguiling listen. It is as if the possible musics Bardo Todol’s field recordings often suggest are around the corner suddenly did arise. And Snake Eggs in Scranton, PA happens to answer that desire, in stunning lo-fi. With a handful of copies of the tape left, a mighty recommendation goes towards the adventurous zoners.

Edition of 21 Tapes Shipping Now at the Snake Eggs Bandcamp Page!