Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Purkinje Shift

The Purkinje Shift
Atlanta, Ga
Samizdat Records

Nickel Waves And Carbon Stars
Five for the Road and One for the Ditch

In many ways I've always regarded these two albums as Volumes I and II of the same idea. They compliment each other nicely, and I suppose if you'd listened to them consecutively at length, you too might find them inseparable.
The Purkinje Shift may not seem immediately ground-breaking or bold in any technical sense. But what I've found refreshing about their two albums is the mood. Their sound is reminiscent of a kind of sleepless, sinister dementia. (Somehow several hours ago you got this funny idea in your head and then you couldn't stop. And now look. What is that, blood? Where did that come from?)
Wherever Purkinje Shift is going they are not in a hurry to get there. They take the long scenic routes. Their songs unfold like the traversal across myriad types of alien terrain, or like a Kaliedescope. It seems so natural as it's happening and then suddenly you look around and realize you are not anywhere near where you thought you were. You were suduced by curiosity, and now you have to find your way home. And yes, you're pretty sure that stuff is blood. But no, you're not so sure that it's yours. The Shift are a three piece, two guitars and drums, and for whatever reason they always remind me of some kind of demented backwoods occult blues band. Like a secret society in cloaks in the woods surrounded by fire. They look nothing like that, of course, but that's the impression I always get. ( I guess they wore suits.)
The two guitarists went on without the drummer to form Moreland Audio. Their record Turbogold is also excellent and expands even further on the ideas established in Purkinje Shift. All three albums available on CD at 54'40' or Fight records.
Here are some Mp3's on from a Myspace page.

Edit: Visit the Purkinje Shift's Ben Davis' blog, Master of None where you can find downloadable live sets from the Shift in '00 and Moreland Audio in '03. In addition to his other projects, definitely take the time to listen to the mastered tracks of the debut record that almost was from Home of the Wildcats.

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