Sewnshut’s self titled release is one part lo fi techno, and one part introspective sound art, and a beautiful sounding record. The record opens with some bendy guitar (?) samples, and fuzzed out tones which are a preamble for the rest of the album.
By the third track, Diminutive Mute, you notice the syncopation and complexity of the cyclical rhythms that Sewnshut has manipulated. The bending guitar samples have returned, but this time they’re cleaner and more defined. There are string plucks coming through as their own rhythm, weaving dancing around and between the aforementioned bends and individual plucky synth tones. Each part overlaps into a cohesive whole, and when the bending notes reverse downward is where the whole track comes to life for me. From here the track fills up with a darker tone unbroken as the track approaches its ending.
The fifth song, Perceptive Waste, brings us back to the plucky tones, and I’m here for it. This track has a nice dancing line that plays around until it fades into nothing, only to rebuild as another piece entirely before the end. A lot of this sounds as if it was generated on a modular synth, but that’s just me being a fucking nerd I don’t really know anything.
Track six, Overstater, has several movements and an evolution throughout. The song opens up with a small tone that has emotional depth. “This one is thoughtful” I tell myself. The emotion of the opening melody quickly leads into an anxious cacophony of parts. They all smash against one another like a room full of people you don’t want to be in a room with. This eventually peels away to reveal a plaintive line that sounds like it’s longing for peace and silence while everything fades away into nothing.
Regret in Tribute reminds me of how much I enjoy the way Sewnshut works with bends and slides. It’s a bit of a tonal theme for them, and that’s because they’re good with them. It makes me wonder if it’s something they’ve noticed.
The last track has some real finality. Choke is more lonely and forlorn than the other tracks. Almost a funeral dirge. A quick and sad ending with detuned synths, and a pounding heart struggling to survive.
Overall Sewnshut’s eponymous release a good record, if a little sad or anxious at various times. Focusing on that sound seemed to bring out a prettiness you wouldn’t typically see in something one would classify as lo fi. Personally I like music which pushes into the more melancholic feelings. Mostly because I’m a melancholic douchebag, but also because I’ve found that walking in those places you find the prettiest rocks.