Mike Shiflet has been making noise in Columbus for years, but recently a whole lot of extra ears were exposed to Shiflet's experimental sounds when his album "Llanos" garnered praise from NPR and Pitchfork.

Mike Shiflet has been making noise in Columbus for years, but recently a whole lot of extra ears were exposed to Shiflet's experimental sounds when his album "Llanos" garnered praise from NPR and Pitchfork.

Though Shiflet's ambient drones can get pretty ominous - the guy was in Sword Heaven, after all - "Llanos" is significantly more serene and inviting than, say, "Omen Chaser," the collection of dying robot sounds that preceded it. In a note on Bandcamp referencing summer nights and tangled memories, Shiflet declares: "The real and the imagined have blurred. The noise and the music have made peace."

The album is still an atypical experience for a pop-minded listener. It's built on the same entrancing white-light static that colors his other recent work, and it still gets pretty dark and aggressive on "Sunbathers." But fragments of familiar melody and rhythm frequently emerge from the mechanistic hum to drift in and out of consciousness.

It's a beautiful and mesmerizing experience, one you'll identify with if you've ever been entranced by crickets or found yourself singing nonsense syllables over the hum of the washing machine.

Shiflet diverged from his usual machinery last Wednesday at Carabar, where Sven Kahns (Deerhead, Time and Temperature) joined him for a quick set of guitar-centric duets. Bolstered at times by violin bows and pedal steel, the music ditched much of Shiflet's trademark static to delve deeper into pastoral sounds before evolving into something like rock 'n' roll.

The songs began as blank slates, the sound of waking up when you're still stuck in a dream and you can't tell what kind of day it's going to be. A good reference point would be "Treefingers," the palate-cleansing tone poem that splits Radiohead's "Kid A."

Eventually they developed some rhythmic muscle and unfurled into glimmering Guided by Voices power chords (the first song - a good day) or a more violent racket a la Sonic Youth (the second song - not such a good day, apparently).

There wasn't much need to crowd around the stage for anti-physical music like this, but floating across the room from a distance, it accomplished exactly the sort of stimulation I had hoped it would.