I grew up in Wisconsin, so I know a thing or two about snow. Yes, it looks cool around the bare trees and abandoned cars, it hides the detritus of daily life, and you can get really stuck in it if you're not trained to drive in it. While it's falling, it damps all sound, and that aspect of frozen crystalline precipitation motivates this ten-track collection, whose slowly building drones and tones glide over 4/8 time rhythms. We shiver, and mysterious female voices cry out in the distance. I don't hear them clearly; are they reminding me to button my coat, or to point out places where my shoveling isn't up to standards? The hectoring voice of "better, if not best" fades, yet the snow falls, and shoveling is largely symbolic. Stormloop's tracks tend toward the long and contemplative, but occasional bursts of noise indicate some sleet may be approaching and you may be snowed in for weeks. Is it time to ration food and drink, or is it possible to snowshoe to the 7-11? Maybe that woman will go -- she seems to know right from wrong, and who are you to argue? It's decision time -- the light is fading and soon it will be 3 o'clock darkness.
This collection comes from a gent named Kev Spence from up around Leeds in Jolly Old Cold England. He composed this collection during the snows of 2009, which, in my fuzzy memories of weather history, was the year most of northern Europe was badly snowed in. His titles are straightforward -- "Snowbound," "A Blizzard," "Melt," "Dense Fog," and "Drifting" -- although he pops in a surprise with "Space Station J," which blends right in with the rest of the bad weather. While this material will absorb any energy you emit into a cold laser molasses, it does so in an intellectual manner, and while you might perceive coldness, you know it's only an image, a chimera of a warmer and maybe sunnier time. Save this and pull it out when the sweat trickles down your back and mascara runs -- while you may never be happy with the weather today, you can always long for the opposite season. Check what the weather is like in Leeds today. It's different.