Among the most recent batch of titles released by Night People—the industrious Saint Paul, MN tape and record label operated by Shawn Reed—is Isreal (Its More of the Same), a cassette by Stefan Christensen, previously the leader of New Haven, CT outfit Estrogen Highs. One track, “I Am the Time Piece”, features martial snare, an ascending riff, and increasingly dissonant, serrated leads. Christensen’s delivery sounds almost desperately insistent, as if through repetition and willpower he’ll enact the chorus’ alchemical transformation. It also suggests a sense of simmering frustration, imminent collapse. The track suggests an array of influences, including the homespun and punk-adjacent undergrounds of 1970s Midwest and 1980s New Zealand, though it surges into the present nonetheless.
The track differs from other recent Night People titles, which include the fizzy, pastel pop of Wet Hair‘s Ryan Garbes; Suspect’s featherlight house; and Unhappybirthday’s dulcet and bittersweet bedroom synth excursions. And yet, a curious harmony colors the catalog at large.