Pelt – Techeod

4 out of 5

Label: VHF Records

Produced by: Pelt (?)

Pelt drone like no other band for me. It’s a genre I’m very selective with, probably due to a lack of exposure, but despite giving some known quantities a fair amount of time, Pelt tends to be able to push past some general disinterest / hesitation I might admittedly have, and evoke reactions that have me listening to albums like Techeod on repeat, and also looking forward to continuing to flesh out my Pelt discography. Perhaps this owes from the way the group “grew into” drone, from louder and more shambly origins, lending their work a dynamism I appreciate immensely. 

Techeod revels in its loud / quiet tensions, making so, so much – so much volume, so many emotions – out if relatively “little,” built on feedback and hazy drums and floating melodies. The album shifts calmly through these elements, but even at low volume, the mood can be felt; louder volume is magic, though, bringing forth how dense and expertly evoked every bit and piece is. 

New Delhi Blues opens with Techeod at its calmest, a wind instrument floating over a plodding, chant-like “beat.” Its parallel is closer Mu Mesons, which takes the crackly static that’s present throughout the disc and turns it into noise, making distorted guitar rumblings the track’s focus. Inbetween these is the centerpiece – the newrly 30 minute Big Walker Mountain Tunnel, logically mixing the two emotions of its bookends as it ebbs and flows, finding tension in its slowly creeping ambience, playing off of feedback and tones. The half hour is a stretch though; the track feels like it hits some stopping points a couple of times, then lumbers on. Once it goes again, all is forgiven, but these are the only moments when Techeod loses my attentiveness a bit. 

That aside, it’s a brilliant run, displaying – to me – how drone really can mine an incredible amount of depth from what can initially seem quite minimal.