CCCVLTSSS – Xiphos.

I have a soft spot for lathe cut records. Sure, they don’t have the best fidelity or lifespan as vinyl, they cost a small fortune to make and usually are sold in the blink of an eye, but they are the closest form to a handmade release. Plus, due to the limitedness of them, they are also quite collectible.

Possible Motives is a new name to me and this, Stockholm based label has so far put out two releases with the other release by label boss Henrik Stelzer (under his Metro Riders pseudonym). This release by LA’s CCCVLTSSS follows on from releases the duo has put out on labels such as Constellation Tatsu, Solid Melts and Beer on the Rug, and is a single track clocking in at just under 10 minutes which is split over the two sides. The original edition of 15 copies is sold out at the label with last copies being available at Aguirre Records.

“Xiphos” marks the latest effort of Los Angeles occult aesthetes CCCVLTSSS and the latest hypnosis on Swedish imprint Possible Motive. Mantric piano ambiance and magic realms recalls deserted landscapes and lost paths drifting into oblivion, a haunted elegy recorded in the ominous landscapes outside South Pasadena. “Xiphos'” misty melody is assured to put you into a hypnotic and insensible condition immediately.”

“Xiphos” (which is a double-edged one-handed Ancient Greek short sword and could reference the two sides nature of this track) – the noticeable thing about the track is how minimal it is with largely the same motifs present for the whole track. Largely constructed out of Synths and piano, it has subtle changes in tone, structure and instrumentation that are more noticeable when closely listened to. Elements warp and change shape, the drones flow around coating the piano and at times leading straight off from it. The drones range between being melodic and having a slightly darker, stormier feel. Electronics cut in and slice away while half way (presumably where side A and B are differentiated) a more cinematic and suspenseful section of synth bangs around in the background and while the piano disappears, becomes the focal point to join parts 1 and 2 together. The second half of the track is quite a different beast in the way the sounds are taken into a more expressive and experimental vein and almost percussive in the way the synth sounds stab in one ear, while the earlier drones are to your other ear and the piano smack right in the centre.

Being new to the world of CVLTS (or CCCVLTSSS in this place) I can’t make a comparison to their other work, however there is an enjoyable way in which they hold onto a major focus of a song and then go about constructing or augmenting the music around it to change the feel of the piece, but still retaining its original characteristics.

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