Kevin Micka has returned with his first full-length since 2009’s Memory, Fatigue is a chronicle and culmination of the past 10 years of Micka creating live music for large ensembles. In his return to the recorded format, Micka collapses his exploded-view approach to composing and has created four laser-guided and utterly distinct pieces of music composed with vinyl’s inherent limitations in mind. Mastered by James Plotkin, Fatigue dives deep into layered microtonal passages and ping-ponging guitar samples and field recordings on “Framework” while album opener “Conditions” is a dense study of sustained tones that contain worlds of sound within its boundaries.
“No Pressure” and the B-Side spanning “Absolute” bear resemblance to 2009’s Memory in their form. “No Pressure” is a stunning drone-blues composition that lets each passage hang heavy in the humid air before another riff rends a fresh hole in the stereo. “Absolute is a Kraut-inspired longplayer that recalls Cluster and LFZ in its patient but persistent build and neuron-rearranging guitar leads that swell, dissolve and reassemble as layers of oscillating tonal passages.
Perhaps with the format’s eventual demise on the horizon, Animal Hospital has created a listening experience that pushes back and celebrates our relationship to the LP.