Growing All The Way

[The Social Registry; 2008]

Styles: jittery, repetitive
Others: Excepter, Tangerine Dream, The Field, Random Touch

Brooklyn duo Growing have kept busy since joining The Social Registry imprint last year. It was a pleasure to review their EP Lateral early in 2008, a succulent mille-feuille of ambient and minimal layers with just enough toothsome melody glazing the brittle, distorted crunch.

New full-length All The Way is a similar work, which underscores the band's penchant for sculpting transfixing cosmic loops with severed chunks of sound. Like The Field, Growing generate hypnotic stasis by gradually piling effects onto a source until it is well-nigh unrecognizable; over the course of a single song, a string of guitar notes transforms like water droplets enduring the water cycle, morphing from lucid single tones to misty clouds of sound and back. If these guys threw some hi-hats or cowbell into the lurch and throb of All The Way, the record would surely be cropping up in dubstep or deep house conversations.

They remain on the edges of rock, though, by sending bucketfuls of watery distortion through their phasers instead of drum sounds, channeling Excepter more than anyone on Kompakt -- “Rave Pie Only” being a perfect example of this sort of flirtation with dance. Elsewhere, “Innit” starts with a bladed conversation between fuzzed-out guitar motifs that I’m sure Ellen Allien would love to throw into a mix. It stutters its way into a delay-ridden groove that should sound perfect to anyone who, like me, thinks that sometimes a skipping CD plays better than an unscratched one. Indeed, All The Way is quite good; let’s hope Growing defy their album’s title and live up to their own name by pursuing their clever ideas even further on their next release.

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