April 8th, 2011 | Album reviews

diana baeza

Download Alpine Decline “CCTV”


(from Visualizations available now from the Alpine Decline)

Between atmospheres and the music of the spheres is Alpine Decline, the duo of Jonathan Zeitlin and Pauline Mu, late of Mezzanine Owls, who’ve been recently globetrotting in China and Tibet. The concept of the mountains, with their yawning crevasses, is uniquely suited to Alpine Decline, with its singing voice railing against the whipping winds of a mountaintop storm and falling from seemingly nowhere to another kind of nowhere. Visualizations sounds epic and looks great on the shelf next to albums by Grails and Emeralds. A noisily contemplative record, with its waves of white noise and pink auras, it’s soaked in the kind of mysticism that should be in your life on a semi-permanent basis. They make feedback an aural Rorschach test and landscapes wide and softly bizarre. The band is a big fan of Japanese psych rock band Les Rallizes Dénudés, if that gives you more of an idea of where they’re coming from. Visualizations heralds a new American mysticism, a tradition that trails back through the Pentagon-levitating ’60s to Felix the Cat, theosophy and beyond. I’d say “Buy or die,” but with Alpine Decline, it’s more like “Buy or have your soul rest in a limbo state depending on your individual spiritual karma.”

—David Cotner