Area C – Haunt

Area C

The blurb on the main page sums it up nicely but the RIYLs are a stretch, thanks to Area C’s ability to create unique, sometimes challenging, otherworldly soundscapes with Farfisa organs, electric guitars, analog drums and a variety of loops and electronic effects.

Area C is the brainchild of Erik Carlson (Death Vessel) who got together with fellow Farfisa afficionado Jeff Knoch and knocked out Haunt‘s six tracks of stoner space-rock in two brief recording sessions. The result is an intriguing album of minimalist, shapeshifting, and mostly dark, ambient music. Ambient not in the sense of soothing background ambience, but in the sense that these compositions are not structured songs but rather experimental musical paintings.

Spaced-out organ dirges, deep resonating bass notes and repeating three or four note loops are used as a slowly shifting musical canvas to which Carlson and Knoch add color with waves of meditative, hypnotic and occasionally frenetic guitar fragments. The tracks slowly evolve and morph from less tuneful incarnations to more melodic ambient passages but rarely form into anything dashing, refined or exciting. But neither are they harsh nor dissonant. Sometimes, as on the title track, they are eerily dense and demand attention, sometimes they are spacey with lots of room for the mind to wander pleasantly, as on the 10-minute, closing track “Circle Attractor, Pt. 2”.

Area C deserve kudos for putting out something different and original and their proceedings work well on “Names Of Places” and “Circle Attractor, Pt. 1” when they tone down the eeriness and explore uncluttered and more structured melodies. While their stuff seems like it would be a lot of fun to play and be involved in, it is more rough than polished and probably too experimental and too long for the casual music fan. Unless the listener is in the right frame of mind and ready for a late-night, headband expanding, musical experience, they should turn away from Area C’s experimental, ambient, space-out music.