Track: C. Diab’s ‘Love’ homages a discarded cassette in warm, bowed drone; the EP’s out tomorrow

C. Diab, photographed by Özge Cöne

HAILING from the City of Glass north of the 49th, Vancouver, bowed guitarist and sound collagist C. Diab has become something of an anchoring artist over at Injazero, the London- and Istanbul-based imprint overseen by producer and journalist Siné Buyuka.

He was one of Injazero’s earliest signings, debuting for the label back in 2016 with the dronesomely excellent No Perfect Wave album; try “Ice”, from that album, for size. Prior to signing, there’d been a limited cassette and a digital EP.

Since that album’s unsurprisingly warm reception he’s gone on to release another brace of albums for the label: 2018’s expansive Exit Rumination and last year’s White Whale, both filled with mournful, deep-sea currents of gradually eddying drone – like Stars of the Lid with an even sleepier grandeur.

Now he’s to release a digital- and cassette-only EP, In Love & Fracture, this Friday; it’s composed of two longform studies, both in dreamy homage to a mysterious cassette he found and retrieved from the sidewalk while out roaming the cityscape.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the EP comprises tracks entitled “Love”, and “Fracture”; and it’s the former of the two that we’re focusing on today, That’s embedded below.

Caton says: “Three years ago, while walking down the street in the summer, I came across an abandoned cassette on the sidewalk called, Zen: Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Classical Shakuhachi Masterworks.” And a new project was born.

He found inspiration in this mysterious, serendipitous arrival, which he calls “a perfect mood setter for reading; not intrusive, but not absent”, he went about creating a referential homage to this found sound; thus In Love & Fracture comprises two pieces written intentionally for the medium, fitting on either side of a cassette. 

You can hear excerpts from the mystery find within the textures of “Love”, rendered fragile, shaky and compressed on the weathered chromium oxide; a mournful woodwind instrument tootles and interjects the fine, neo-classical sweep of Caton’s bowed guitar, morphing to a slow elegy for the strings and organ tones; that in itself gradually fracturing and bleeding into discord before subsiding, rebirthing in a more insistent, cello-like rhythmic hum that plays out at double time to the deeper shaded bliss.

Reportedly this even came as a surprise to Caton: “What I assumed would be two calm, drone pieces transformed into something else entirely over the course of the days, becoming something featuring much more movement and chaos,” he says.

Caton composed and produced the two pieces in his home studio in early January “I think it ultimately became something which reflected my mood of the moment, swinging wildly from positivity and empathy to hurt and pessimism, and back again,” and isn’t that just our universal pandemic experience right there.

It’s another fine expansion of the oeuvre for an artist who stylises his work as both “post-classical-grunge” and “Cascadian folk music”, referencing the Cascade mountain range.

C. Diab’s In Love & Fracture will be released digitally and on cassette by Injazero Records this Friday, March 19th; you can purchase yours now over at Bandcamp.

Connect with C. Diab on Facebook and Instagram.

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