AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Tongue Depressor & Weston Olencki – Don​’​t Tell No Tales Upon Us (2023; Dinzu Artefacts)

This EP-length tape and digital release features the lineup of Henry Birdsey, Weston Olencki, and Zach Rowden in two very different arrangements on two respective tracks. Birdsey and Rowden are collectively known as Tongue Depressor, and Olencki joins them to explore sound art in the form of drones, acid folk, and general experimentation.

Tapping Season is powered by Birdsey’s guttural and grinding bagpipes, with Olencki on trombone and Rowden on bowed bass. The three instruments blend together, creating layers of discordant and challenging noise. Including gritty lines and an assortment of pitches, the trio manages to forge new textures in the crowded drone space.

On If Death Be Printed On His Face, they switch things up. Birdsey plays pedal steel, Olencki the banjo, and Rowden provides tapes. The piece begins with a lilting melody that repeats in the background while scratches and abstract sound elements populate the foreground, though in a sparse manner. This evolves into a set of quietly tense drones accompanied by scraping and tapping.