With WMAIDIT Philadelphia based Malk has delivered an album that creaks and clangs, that squeaks and rattles, as everything just chugs along with an earnest winsome absurdity. It’s a kind of lofi, freak folk, where field recordings are as integral as the more melodic – but occasionally violent acoustic guitar. There’s a real junk shop feel to this, a certain idiosyncratic creativity, where anything could be possible that reminds me of the DIY aesthetic of Sparklehorse or the creativity of old school Anticon (albeit without vocals), or the messy inspiration of John Frusciante’s guitar experiments.
It’s a refreshingly different album that feels like a series of song sketches. The longest piece of this 22-track opus is three and a half minutes, and it’s an outlier. Most of the pieces are a about minute shorter. Aside from the experimental folk tag it’s very difficult to get a bead on, and you get the sense that Malk, aka Will Becker( OF HUMAN FEELINGS, The Super Nintendo Chalmers, SCRAN, and 1/3rd of the band Mahatma X) doesn’t really approach music with many genre considerations.
It was recorded in Dumfries Scotland in 2015-16, and features acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, melodica, ocarina, banjo and toy keyboard. It’s also part of Lost Tribes Dead West Tape Series – music designed for soundtracking environment. This music is unselfconsciously wonky, unselfconsciously endearing, weird, but somehow quite affecting. At times the playing feels blunt and obvious – even a little jarring, at others it is quite repetitive and subdued. This music is not about virtuosity, it is very much about mood, about creating its own unique sound world, and it does this effortlessly.