The fact that the Chicago label Thrill Jockey has been inking deals with many of Portland's experimental and avant artists should come as little surprise to fans here at home. The musicians they've hooked up with -- Eternal Tapestry and its offshoots Tunnels and Plankton Wat, Mike Scheidt, Jason Urick -- have, over the last few years, hit their creative strides. The albums that all the above have released through Thrill Jockey have been some of the best of 2012.
Add to the above list the bass clarinet/synth duo Golden Retriever. Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff have already been dazzling audiences through their performances, including one of the best sets at last year's PDX Pop Now festival, and on several limited run releases where the two bend melodies and drones to create glorious knots of sound.
On their upcoming album Occupied With the Unspoken, Carlson and Sielaff hit even greater heights, distilling long 30-minute jams down to a precise core that can run to about nine minutes and change each. But no minute is wasted, as with the track presented here. It slowly builds off of a repetitive synth line that gives way to echoing squalls from Sielaff's clarinet. Carlson, in turn, replies with tones that bounce around the room, leaving spatters in their wake. It ends far too suddenly, making me long for an extended director's cut of this album that features the full takes of these songs. Until that comes to light, I'll rest comfortably with this song, the new album, and the prospect of seeing them create a beautiful mess at their CD release show on August 1st at Holocene.