Bitter Fictions is Devin Friesen: music writer, record slanger, and CJSW DJ extrordinaire. His fourth release as Bitter Fictions just entered the collective conscious. If I were to come out the gate saying these are improvised noise-recordings (as their author has titled them) you would expect to hear something rather different than what Friesen has given us here. Many of the usual tropes of improvised noise have been expertly side-stepped on no. 1. Friesen’s loops do not descend into monotonous obscurity, nor do they feel entirely script-less despite their spontaneity. Rather, these pensive compositions are imbued with a patience and control that continues to build a focused atmosphere of suspense and despair. It is all very cathartic. The story goes that these were recorded all in one go using a different guitar in a different alternate tuning than Friesen normally uses except for the last song on which he uses his usual guitar (and alternate tuning). If you enjoy this, head to his bandcamp and hear his other records which span a variety of different sonic forays with and without vocal accompaniment.
Devin Friesen, previously familiar to me as Kevin Stebner’s roomate and an all around cool dude, is now familiar to me as the guitar peddle picasso that is Bitter Fictions. The First Book Of Electricity is a sunglassed dichotomy of mental guitar noises seesawed by New York City leather jacket 90’s pop. For those of you with a short wick for noise, skip ahead to “In Absence” and “Slip Away” and dig into the deep seated spirit of invention that surely lead Bitter Fictions to title it’s debut as it did. “Slip Away”, in particular, has a marvelous taxi cab home affect that could easily place itself in a Sophia Coppola film.