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Musical Content: Chicago’s Stephen Holliger (aka Swim Ignorant Fire) produces ambient/drone/noise that is all over the place. The segues are seamless, yet he manages to travel from the heavens to the depths of hell within moments. It doesn’t feel unnatural, probably because he recognizes that heaven and hell have a lot in common. Verbed-out guitars are suddenly interrupted by the hum of a bad patch cable (“The Stillness Between”). You have to wonder if that was the plan all along, or just a happy accident. Regardless, Holliger makes the sound of equipment malfunction musical, almost melodic. Elsewhere, he channels Frippertronics (“A Fogging Spirit”). Guitar is all over Belly of the Whale, but it’s always part of a greater sound and never slips into cliché.
Packaging and Sound Quality: The black-shell tape includes full color j-cards. Rok Lock is also including a free poster with early orders. Sound quality is excellent, even while played back on a thrift store Walkman.