Caroline Park in the past week or so posted a short teaser of her then forthcoming album, Less Than Human. At just 46 seconds, it seemed just a little short to constitute a standalone post here, and fortunately the releasing label, Pan y Rosas Discos, has followed up with the full, freely downloadable set of five tracks, and posted three of them on its SoundCloud account for streaming. The album’s brief liner note includes this instruction:
play at full volume,
with good speakers
in a nice room.
no head/earphones please (sound needs space).
Do follow the instructions when the opportunity arises. The material in the SoundCloud subset of Less Than Human ranges from luminous and droning (“Plantlife”) to ominous and distant (“A Moth Is Born”) to stuttered and disorienting (“Fractured Barnacles”), and all of it is best experienced in full body, the nuances not left to the compressed nature of headphones, and the volume not adjusted for proximity’s sake.
Missing from the SoundCloud set are the album’s opening and closing tracks, “Being States” and “Gldufglsd.” The first is perhaps the album’s most ambitious, a gentle melody refracted through subtle, pinging percussion. As for “Gldufglsd,” the album’s longest cut, at over 11 minutes, it is, like “Plantlife,” structured around a low-level drone, heard here below a harsh shimmer, out of which slowly arises a warmer tone whose sense of comfort is balanced by the increased threat of that buzzsaw shimmer. It seems to suggest a sequel to “A Moth Is Born,” in which the promise of a heat brings the end.
Three-track set originally posted at soundcloud.com/panyrosasdiscos. Get the full album at panyrosasdiscos.net. More from Park, who is based in Providence, Rhode Island, at soundcloud.com/cpark, cpark.bandcamp.com, and blanksound.org. Pan y Rosas Discos is a netlabel, based in Chicago and at panyrosasdiscos.net.