“Total Life” – the moniker fits the recent output of Olympia, WA-based Kevin Doria (of Growing) perfectly. Radiator, Doria’s new full-length on Important Records, is more than intense. It is immersive and all-encompassing, a continuous wave of jet black water smothering your ears in decibel-bursting drones. Shards of this razor-sharp guitar tone end up lodged deep inside the skull. A body stays shaking long after either monolithic, side-long track ends.
Life is Total, but its totality, at least in the audible world presented to us by Doria, lies not in the first impressions noted above. Instead, it comes out of active listening, an attempt to hear beyond the music’s buzzing, all-too-obvious facade. Back there, beyond the harsh overdrive, is a world of sensual filter sweeps, a mirror plain of constantly shifting focus, an intoxicatingly incomprehensible array of frequency modulations and fog-drenched precision. Total Life ends up in the lineage of Eliane Radigue and Kevin Drumm: slow-release, deep-conscious music that demands attention and patience. Except Doria doesn’t mind spending his time crushing down on the acceleration.
Stream side one of Radiator below, and pick up the LP here.