I Can Wait by Left Hand Cuts Off The Right

Release date: November 6, 2020
Label: Oaken Palace Records

Really nice tape of comforting drone from Left Hand Cuts Off The Right here. Warm and contemplative, I Can Wait is four linked tracks of gently flowing sound to help ease your fizzing brain. Things being what they are these days it’s more welcome than ever to rub some of this stuff on your temples and take some long deep breaths. Originally recorded in 2018 the pieces have been ‘reconstructed’ during lockdown for this release. I don’t think that betokens anything deeply radical, more a bit of a spit and polish to smooth out the edges.

The precise origins of its lulling aural drift are hard to discern but apparently the sounds come from zither, melodica, synth and mbira. Not that it really matters. None of those instrumental voices particularly assert themselves over the others, folding into each other in delicate drones like veils of colour on abstract canvases. There are incidental hints of the outside world but it mostly feels inward looking, concerned with sound and stillness. The title I Can Wait suggests patience and stasis and there is about it something of that small, calm, joy in just stopping. Not chasing around your head on the endless to-do list, or reviewing the day, beating yourself up or daydreaming you’re on the other side of the world, but actually quieting the babbling idiot inner voice if only for a few minutes and just letting it all go.

The sense of healing solace is no accident, Left Hand Cuts off the Right is a solo project of Robbie Judkins for whom mental health issues and the use of sound as therapy are strong themes. His work has previously grown out of recovery from head injury and a suicide attempt. He talks about developing these pieces from playing very simple musical patterns to help him through bouts of depression. If all that sounds very dark and pained his resulting music is anything but. The four tracks flow into each other, cut from the same comforting blanket of gentle sound to form a calming half hour or so that seems to drift by in minutes.

Judkins is also a member of noise punk juggernaut Bruxa Maria, but it’s his long running Resonance FM show Animal Sounds that makes him such a perfect fit with Oaken Palace. A charity label, Oaken Palace has put out drone and psychedelic releases by an impressive array of artists ( Nadja, Woven Skull, thisquietarmy, Vibracathedral Orchestra etc) as a way of raising both money and awareness for endangered species. Proceeds from cassette sales of I Can Wait will go towards conservation and protection of the Pied Tamarin (Sanguinus bicolor), a small monkey in the Brazilian Amazon whose habitat is endangered by deforestation. It’s a curious looking critter, also known as a bare-faced tamarin because its soft light fur stops at its little black demon head. The cover features artwork by Judkins’ brother Wil that at first glance seems unflattering but after a quick image search is more than fair. Get some mental peace with soothing drone and help save a little monkey, seems like an excellent plan to me.

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