Premiere: CRUSH CRUSH – SELF-TITLED (EASTMINT RECORDS, 2018)

Words: James Frostick

Ahead of the release of its official release on July 13 through Eastmint Records, avant-garde duo Crush Crush is giving us a preview listen of their debut self-titled album. Steeped in experimental sonic sensibilities, Crush Crush’s collection of tracks explores the possibilities of what can be done with less, resulting in a purposefully off-kilter but intriguing assembly of sounds.

Melbourne-based art space and burgeoning experimental music label Eastmint has been assembling a roster of inventive and creative musicians in recent times, putting out releases for groups such as On Diamond, Hello Satellites and Cold Hands Warm Heart. Although all different in sound, each are unified in their desire to craft sublime music that is pop-oriented at heart, but wrought using minimal and/or unconventional methods. Eastmint’s latest release comes from a duo that approaches their output in a similar vein. Crush Crush is the creative tandem of Evelyn Ida Morris and multi-disciplinary artist Aviva Endean, and their self-titled album is another masterful display of experimental music that leaks through categorical confines.

The record is an exploration of the sounds that can be created using a limited collection of tools, namely Aviva’s clarinet and bass clarinet, which has been expounded upon by Evelyn’s multi-instrumental and production input. What has resulted is something that has transcended limitations despite a conscious implementation of limiting factors. From basic sketches of ideas and skeletal arrangements of bent noise, Crush Crush has built a striking package of work that is filled with life and imagination. Primitive rhythms have been pieced together from disparate parts (see: the opening moments of ‘Shovel And A Cabelcar’ for an example), providing solid footing for Evelyn and Aviva to build upon. Clarinet flourishes are affected, chopped and skewed and assembled again in new formations, paired with haunting harmonies and poignant vocal passages that move and enthrall.

Although relying on a concise array of sounds to work with, Crush Crush has brought forth a lush release that is full of life. Tranquil in parts and dissonant in others, the sway of each movement evokes the untameable character of nature – as if a new gust of wind will send the music in a different direction. This is the sound of two artists pushing their own boundaries and creating something that defies most, if not all, conventions and is a charmingly oblique audio companion for one’s own travels.

Listen:

Crush Crush’s self-titled album will arrive on Friday July 13, but you can catch the duo launching the record at Eastmint studios on July 21 with special guests Supina Bytol and Mossy.