Of Sirens Born is not exactly a new album. It was originally released two years back on Gameboy Records, home of the occasional extreme noise terrorist like Cock ESP, Jazkamer, John Wiese, Fe-Mail, Guilty Connector, Crank Sturgeon, or PBK—the kind that cause even the most oddball indie-psych freak to run for the hills. With the album’s recent reissue on Kranky, home to equally feedbacked but more meditative neo-shoegazer ilk like Deerhunter, Stars of the Lid, Roy Montgomery, Labradford, and Keith Fullerton Whitman, Of Sirens Born appeals to an expansive mindset.
Initially released as a CD-R and then given a full release on Kranky for his debut for the label, Joseph Raglani's brief but quite enjoyable five-song effort isn't some sudden new stroke of artistic genius -- instead it aims to hit certain strong points and does so well enough that his future work will be worth investigating. By working in the realm of the self-recorded electronic musician, clearly harking back to 1970s experimenters in particular but not exclusively, Raglani's emphasis lies in well-sculpted drones and understated elements popping in and out of the mix -- vocal snippets and strange melodies on "The Promise of Wood and Water," the swirls of sound on the concluding "Jubilee. " It's very formal, no bad thing at all, but when the scrazzled feedback on "Perilous Straits" appears, the effect is almost shocking (and certainly does provide a little more variety than had first been apparent).