Tone Deaf Records

New - Duffy x Uhlmann - Doubles - LP

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Blurring the limits between speed and slowness, Meg Duffy
(guitar) and Greg Uhlmann (guitar) communicate in velocities,
underwriting each other’s peaks and flurries as they ache
toward a mutual horizon. These one-take improvisations,
recorded in Uhlmann’s brothers’ house on a borrowed tape
recorder, unfold like a game of truth or dare. Their constant
motif is an unceasing return, a steady heartbeat they mutually
commit to, knowing when one wanders off, the other will either
follow or call them home. Here, flushness overrides order, each
note saunters by like initials etched into tree bark: a devotion
both passing and eternal.

After playing in Perfume Genius and Hand Habits, Duffy and
Uhlmann embarked on their first record together, Doubles. A
testament to the wordlessness of their musical intimacy, Duffy
and Uhlmann take up the guitar in order to make an imprint of
the slowness and presence of their improvisational practice.
They weave together a sonic meditation, embracing intuition
and relying on trust. Side A of Doubles consists of two guitars
in conversation: looping feelings, braiding sound, blowing
kisses, and finishing each other’s sentences. Less of an echo
and more of nod, the songs unfold in radical, mutual
witnessing. Refraining from any over dubs or edits on the final
tracks, the immediacy of the compositions makes it feel like we
are in the room with them.

Where Side A establishes a glistening intimacy, Side B takes on
the tone of sonic scavenging, incorporating sounds from their
past year of touring together. Taking the self as source
material, the second half of the album dismantles the presence
of Side A in order to incorporate the tactility of memory. Using
samples from the road and from the world, these compositions
are a scrap book of glued and chopped up sound. When I
listen, I feel the crunchiness and static of being-in-the-world as
it is mediated by time. Without us knowing, our devices capture
sounds we may have missed the first time around. And they
land like a sucker punch, snapping us back to the present,
tuning our attention to what surrounds us.

True presence in any given moment is one of the most difficult
things to cultivate and sustain. When it is offered, I treasure it
like a rare gift. Listening to Doubles, I sink into the generosity of
Duffy and Uhlmann’s offerings. In songs like “Glacial Fanfare,” I
whisper to myself: it hurts now and it’s gonna hurt more, but
then it’s gonna stop hurting. In “Euphoric Recall,” I understand
how even the worst storms can offer gentleness. In “Braid,” I
know trust is about bodies in contact, feet hitting the ground
day after day. I return to the urgent question posed in the title
of the track: “Which One Is You?” The answer is a low steady
bass marked by chaotic and bright fluctuations of sound. The
sonic response leaves me knowing: Both. All.

The intimacy in these songs dances like shadows - providing
relief even as they slip away. I want to put this music in my
pocket and hold it in my palm like a worn down stone. Duffy
and Uhlmann give us a sweet rawness that reverberates even
once the song is over, hitting the body the very moment words
fall away. – Rosie Stockton