Arc and Sender: Arc and Sender

Arc and Sender - s/t

Arc and Sender - s/t

  1. (untitled)
  2. Hundred Year Flood Download Hundred Year Flood
  3. Semblance
  4. Squares and Circles Download Squares and Circles
  5. Perambulations
  6. Light Pain
  7. Skinner Box
  8. Sleep Hope Wake and Then

All compositions ©2005 Arc and Sender.
Features guest appearances by saxophonist Dan Scofield (Shot X Shot, Sonic Liberation Front) and violinist Jennifer Hutt.

Recording by Edan Cohen at Soundgun (2004/05).
Additional recording and mixing by
Eric Carbonara at Nada Sound Studio.
Mastered by Mark Guenther at Seattle Disc Mastering.

Arc And Sender’s self-titled debut includes a range of pieces – from avant-garde interstitials to hard-driving walls of sounds to placid guitar arrangements. Despite being a relatively new band, the trio is earning comparisons to similar adventurous instrumental guitar-based bands like Growing, Tarentel, and godspeed you black emperor as well as guitar experimenters like Glenn Branca and Nels Cline.

Arc and Sender’s primary line-up features Jason Hutt on guitars, Ryan Grove on drums and Greg Pardew alternating between standard guitar and baritone guitar. The result is a density and swiftness that are impossible with the involvement of bass guitar. The album begins with a foreboding introduction before the storm-like crunch of “Hundred-Year Flood” fully introduces the band. The intricacy of Arc and Sender’s cacophony is best heard in this piece as each guitarist improvises freely within the composition’s structure. The guitars swell like waves out of the song’s surface, speeding by like a passing ambulance’s sirens.

Perhaps the most interesting track is “Squares and Circles.” Featuring all three members on prepared guitar, Arc and Sender creates a unique gamelan-type sound that showcases the band’s innovative quest for unique tones and textures. Likewise, “Skinner Box” showcases the band’s ability to construct fully improvisational pieces alongside with fully composed pieces.

While the massiveness of the guitars often sounds like more than two guitars, the only instance of actual over-dubbing is of violin and saxophone. Saxophonist Dan Scofield guests on “Light Pain.” His layered parts (he plays both alto and baritone) give the piece an unorthodox dizzying effect. Similarly, the addition of Jennifer Hutt’s violin on “Perambulations” gives the track more gravity and urgency. Pieces like “Semblance” and “Sleep Wake…” add another dimension to the band. Arc and Sender prove that they can create heavily textured music without the guitar barrage present in pieces like “Hundred-Year Flood” and “Perambulations.”

While the quiet/loud and soft/hard dichotomies are explored by Arc and Sender, it is done unobtrusively and gradually – differentiating the trio from bands often described as ‘math rock’ or ‘post-rock’.

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