From Quagmire - "Caught In Unknowing"
(VHF Records 2002, VHF 71)
From Aural Innovations #23 (April 2003)
Second full length from this Virginia trio, with members of Rake (also on VHF) and Laconic Chamber (who have a CD or so out as well (see AI #14), think I heard one on Camera Obscura a while back). Musically FQ is at least superficially close to some of the contemporary drone/psych folksters such as Tower Recordings or Six Organs of Admittance, but while those bands spring from a deeply mystical extended vibe, From Quagmire comes across as very deliberate and downright stoic, creating tension out of immense retstraint and only very occasional release. Every string scrape, screech, or percussion thwack just feels really thought out and deliberate. The vocals and repetitive acoustic guitar lines (courtesy of Dorothy Gellar) hold the whole thing together in a distinctly rock/folk way, but the violin and percussion could just as easily fit in one of those sparse contemporary UK improv outfits. When they do cut loose it gets pretty chaotic and dissonant, for example the violin on track 4, titled “Victims and Second Viennese”, if I am looking at the wraparound track listing properly, could fit right in on an early AMM record or something. If this comes off at all sounding negative I don’t mean that way at all, merely descriptive. In fact I really am quite impressed with From Quagmire and have been going back to this record a bunch. It just feels different, y’know? And that’s a really good thing.
For more information you can visit the VHF Records web site at: http://www.vhfrecords.com.
Reviewed by Brian Faulkner