The Transept story is both interesting and amusing, and the random nature of the name selection is almost as appealing as the label, Dronehenge Records. I like drone, I like puns, and this has got the lot.
The same is true of this Norwich trio's album. Initially conceived as a prog-folk band, 'TRSPT001' is a document of a band in continual evolution through lengthy improvisations, emerging as a swirling monster of multi-dimensional sound on sound. Or, as they prefer to call it, 'prog-folk-electronic-experimental-space rock', which seems to encapsulate what they're all about.
The eleven-minute opener, 'The Demands of Levitating Heavy Stones' begins, appropriately enough, with cavernous echoes, hushed, reverent, cathedral-like. Slowly, it builds, with drones and washes of phasers and lasers, into a Hawkwind-like cosmic progfest, culminating in an explosion of warped brass.
'Antler Song' has a touch of the primitive, a hint of the medieval about it, a slow, mournful violin played against a cold wind drifting over a bleak moorland, while 'Leopard Slug Love Song' begins as a soft but vaguely sinister and desolate-sounding fairground tune. About halfway in, a synth break that would have Rik Wakeman creaming his pants takes the lead while an echo-drenched kick drum fills the spaces in between.
Subtle, semi-ambient drones and the occasional whistle of feedback occupy the sixteen and a half minutes given to 'Death of the Sea Sentinel' and 'Nothing the Noth, Pt. 1' which bleed together to form an expansive sonic wasteland with mists of texture and atmosphere creeping in from the edges. The reprise of 'Leopard Slug Love Song (Live from Brokeback Mountain)' is substantially different from the other version, and introduces wordless vocals that add a new depth to the composition. In the background, a soft percussion gently pushes the long organ notes onwards, and I'm reminded of a mellowed-out Stereolab, only with a greater sense of drama. At the end, it's all swallowed up in a building wash of sound. When it recedes, there is nothing.
Transept on MySpace