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Wane into It

by drowse

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Squee thumbnail
Squee A perfectly constructed and executed record, resonating beauty in my headphones. Favorite track: Mystery Pt. 2.
cellmembrane thumbnail
cellmembrane this is such a great new experience for me listened to this yesterday and was blown away with the beautiful production, very happy to have this album on vinyl now Favorite track: Telepresence.
deedish thumbnail
deedish This is probably the most raw emotion I’ve ever experienced in an album and I freaking love it Favorite track: Mystery Pt. 2.
The Face
The Face thumbnail
The Face More than any other album in 2022, this is the one I keep coming back to listen through. It's not a perfect album, but it's close, and it came at the right time in my life. It's like a warm hug for sad, grieving souls. Thank you, Kyle.
Cletus Canuck
Cletus Canuck thumbnail
Cletus Canuck My cat loves this album. I do too, but she wanted to let you know. Favorite track: Three Faces (Cyanoacrylate).
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To hold ambiguity in dreams diverging on that Amtrak in the Northeast. I’d opened up just long enough for your flash flood to overflow the endless river I’d fallen into for a second time that year. Now I flow in the abstraction of memory: gin in the bathroom, Untrue in headphones, trying to fall asleep. I’d completely lost my mystery— I’d been seen— when you asked, “Do you really think you know me?” You stated sternly, “We are not the same.” So let’s lean against this world pushing different ways. We’ll ask, “Do you really think you know?”
That old fence blew down, hollow vines were filled with sound, and I can’t believe how much you echo in and out of me. I’ve been losing mystery. Space inhales the air I breathe. Snowbells are blossoming, no place to place my insecurities. So I stumble around: therapy and self destructive tendencies. I’ve been losing mystery. Space inhales the air I breathe. Blue van, white hills, bay and sea, I know this is good for me. Midnight, Oakland, December 9th: two over a burning light, ashes blowing through the trees, I hope this is good for me.
Ashes over Haystack Rock, over Rocky Butte, over Mount Tabor, over Skidmore Bluffs, over Gas Works Park, over Whatcom Falls, over Orcas Island.
Wane into It 05:06
Once a week I wake up and remind myself that I am going to die. Death thought, it keeps me kind: when I wane into it I don’t mind blue cruelty washed with sake at night. You might trace paint chips in the atmosphere, assigning (sine waves to flake) data from on high, hide sound in a grate at Times Square, make sound characters, die, then people care. I care, you drank like me. Wild hair bobbing. Maryanne, you heard things dancing with past selves. Asking— absurd, meaningful, and clear: “There is no time.” Can I wane into it? “There is no time.” I’ll just wane into it. “There is no time.” Let’s all wane into it.
Telepresence 04:32
(The sounds of my family conversing near the Truckee River.)
Gabapentin 04:48
Will I do it again tonight? Swell my face, sweat my sheets. Gaba to act alive for your watchful eye. 30’s on its way. My strung up blue beads are salt in air, scrolling, that bush on 33rd, a dead gull’s wing: your images control me. Control me. Control me. Control me. He did it alone one night: put a bag over his head, gasoline smell. My uncle, he told my dad, “I’m just like he is,” after Thanksgiving. His disease, My strung up blue beads a stinging rash spread cross my back, are salt in air, scrolling, I won’t love like that. Strung up blue beads, a dead gull’s wing: gabapentin to act alive, your images control me. 30’s on its way.
Caressing shadowed silver, bipolar blue light glow, we all fuck computers, eating sky and snow. I lie facedown on that gray couch, I lash out. You feed me Ativan, the world calms down. We hold each other, your blond hair gets in my mouth. “Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have of them.” Internet collapses time: @ @ @@ @@@, @@ @ @@ @@@
I want to fly so far away that I’m forgotten, to remain impressed in those I never knew. Magic glue, disappearing and cementing, strong and hidden: self-extending. It’s easy: “I know no one and no one knows me.” Is knowing actually a real thing? Is it all just thought and feeling? In aging our memories shrink, in others our memory grows. Early 2010s: I didn’t live in Bellingham; his broken nose: a rhizome root. My crooked face is ash in wind. I didn’t blackout each weekend, no tears in soup or oldest friends, no life before this moment, a memory of a memory: a story of self controlling me. In aging our memories shrink, in others our memory grows. I’d be devoted to distance, if not for aging parents; boxes in the attic, mold forming in absence.
19, Washington, hungover all the time. Parker sent a creation: Italics, Veritas Veritatum, and showed me Ableton. Guitar met computer, obsessed with Replica by Oneohtrix Point Never. MDMA, mood stabilizers, whatever. I moved home to Portland, wrote a comic and songs to sleep on. Sometimes it feels like I’m done: I was Drowse before 21. “I have some memories, a few memories. One was a car accident I was in. We were in the rain going to Kansas, just back from South America, and I was climbing from the back seat to the front where my parents were, and it was raining, really raining. There was a truck up ahead of us in the rain at night and my father went right into it. And so I was in the top of this middle…partition, and I went flying through the windshield. Everything was muddy and I was in this muddy ditch. And I remember my father calling for me ‘cause he couldn’t see me. So he found me–I must have been the only child in the car at that point. Someone on the road stopped and took us into the nearest town to a doctor. My father sat out in the rain in that rumble seat while they looked for a hospital. They took me in, and they brought the doctor to the home, and I had this cut on my forehead and I guess they had to sew it up or something. And they promised me if I’d just shut my eyes…”


In 2019, Drowse’s Kyle Bates set out to produce a self-recorded new album. Marked by moving across state lines, long-distance relationships, and deaths in the family, the following years proved to be metamorphic. Now, three years later, he’s emerged with Wane into It, continuing a distinctly Pacific Northwestern tradition of self-recording indie experimentalists (Grouper, The Microphones, Unwound’s Leaves Turn Inside You).  
One of the most impactful moments came during the looming passing of a family member. With death expected, the choice was made to conduct a bizarre “living-wake” gathering — with the soon-to-be-deceased in attendance. Shortly after, Bates found himself disturbed, preoccupied with the abstraction of memory. The experience led him to reassess the tool we use to curate our selective memories: the internet. The internet, which creeped into even more aspects of life during the pandemic, serves as our self-made digital link to the past. Its uncaring presence layered over humbling thoughts of death and his own childhood memories of the Oregon Coast as he worked on Wane into It; life’s hyperreal texture sank into the recordings as he felt his body age and wane. 
Big sounds were captured in bedrooms, hallways, practice spaces, forests, and on highways throughout West Coast — vibraphones chime over black metal guitars, a mellotron drones under degraded samples, violins splinter against granular field recordings. In the process of documenting these aural moments Bates completed an MFA at Mills College, coloring the album with shades of avant-electronic and minimalist composition (Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Maryanne Amacher, Sarah Davachi etc…). To realize this scope Drowse collaborated with Madeline Johnston (Midwife), Alex Kent (Sprain), Lula Asplund, a chamber ensemble and more.
Bates’s songwriting and production have never been more lucid; sounds flicker as he sings with fragile intensity. The record, Drowse’s third for The Flenser, impressionistically distills loss, distance, mystery, prescription drugs, the preservation of memory via recording, and ambient anxiety through its titular act: to Wane into It, to disappear awaiting the next moon phase, water returning to sea before reemerging as a wave.


released November 11, 2022

Written and recorded by Kyle Bates in bedrooms in Oakland, Portland, and Los Angeles, sometimes using equipment from the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College and the Modular Synth Studio at the California Institute of the Arts, from September 2019 to January 2022.

Madeline Johnston played guitar, sang, and wrote melodies on “Untrue in Headphones.”

Samuel Regan helped record and played sections of vibraphone on “Untrue in Headphones.”

Daniel Schmidt helped build the glockenspiel used on “Mystery Pt. 2,” “Telepresence,” and “Gabapentin,” and built the saron used on “Three Faces (Cyanoacrylate).”

Asher Mackenzie lent me his bass which was used on “Mystery Pt. 2,” “Wane into It,” and “Ten Year Hangover / Deconstructed Mystery.”

Lula Asplund sang and wrote melodies on “Wane into It” and Three Faces (Cyanoacrylate),” and lent me their steel-string acoustic guitar for the bridge section of “Mystery Pt. 2.” Their voice was sampled for the granular synth section of “Blue Light Glow.” They also offered invaluable input on various aspects of the album.

Adam Troy wrote and played bowed cymbals and drum parts on “Wane into It.”

Taylor Malsey played violin and wrote melodies on “Wane into It” and “Three Faces (Cyanoacrylate),” and played the drums that were then warped and recomposed on “Three Faces (Cyanoacrylate).”

Sections of a field recorded conversation with Hadley Bates, Andy Bates, Betty Bates and Kathy Kroeger were used on “Telepresence.”

The title of “Telepresence” was taken from a project I completed with Christopher Davidson while working as his teaching assistant–it was inspired by Maryanne Amacher.

Drum sounds from Nat Harvey’s “Long Body” were sampled, warped, and recomposed on “Gabapentin” and “Blue Light Glow.”

Alex Kent helped conceptualize the noise parade, wrote melodies, sang, and played harmonium, singing saw, glockenspiel, and whistle on “Blue Light Glow.”

Drum samples created by Stan Sumney were used on “Blue Light Glow.”

A majority of the music during the second half of “Ten Year Hangover / Deconstructed Mystery” was recorded during a performance of my piece “Losing Mystery” at the Center for Contemporary Music in December 2019.
It was performed by:

Kyle Bates - bass VI and electronics
Chari Glocovoc-Smith - synthesizer
Matthew Ka Git Wong - clarinet
Donggnuk Kim - violin
Michelle Moeller - piano
Samuel Regan - guitar

Betty Bates recounts her memory on “Ten Year Hangover / Deconstructed Mystery.”

Works and/or words from Maryanne Amacher, William Emanuel Bevan, Phil Elverum, Gilles Deleuze, Parker Johnson, Victoria Keddie, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Daniel Lopatin, Max Neuhaus, Lane Shi Otayonii, and Marcel Proust are briefly referenced in lyrics throughout the album.

The live drum kit sounds on “Three Faces (Cyanoacrylate),” Farfisa on “Wane into It,” and Mellotron on “Blue Light Glow” were recorded at the Unknown in Anacortes, WA in March 2017 (drums), and August 2021 (keyboards) by Nicholas Wilbur.

Mastered by Nicholas Wilbur at the Unknown in January 2022.

Photography by Nyree Watts.

Design and layout by Kyle Bates.

Thank you to my family–those mentioned above who helped to directly realize this work–Jonathan Tristan Tuite, Bryan Manning, and, in a different way, Thom Wasluck for trusting in me and making this album a physical reality. To everyone who has helped bring Drowse into the world, be it through friendship, performing or releasing this music, thoughtful conversation, or listening in any sense of the word, know that I am thinking of you as I write this; let our memory grow.


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