Warp Records has announced more details on the forthcoming release from composer/musician Brian Eno. The title for the new recording is Small Craft On A Milk Sea and it will come in multiple formats (Collector’s Edition Limited Box Set, MP3, 2xCD, Vinyl, more). Available on November 2.
One of the more leading electronic practitioners who keep releasing surprising cliffhangers is Autechre. Move of Ten was released immediately on the heels of Oversteps, a fine yet cold record. This one, however, is quite unusual in the long line of calculating before their time classics. Etchogon-S sounds like an experiment, losing the composition of beats for more wayward meanderings, its like an expertly crafted half thought, or is it? The more I listen to Move of Ten the more I feel manipulated by its erasures, its coy backstepping. Y7 is hardly not completely an ear opening journey into new territory, that’s what this duo does. It just goes so far to greet its listener, part tease, part sly minimalism. And there’s a lot more ambiance here and there throughout for all the hard edged quips they’ve trademarked. This is a conveyor belt, motorized by design, pumping out abstractions like Pce Freeze 2.8I, which gets a bit lost here. And they play on old school handclaps, layered thick with airy dramatic synths that pop and flatten in 5 beats. It’s refreshing to hear tracks that are wonderfully asymmetrical like Nth Dafuseder.b, something serrated that filters in both a wiggly dancehall flavor atop what may or may not be a nod to whaling songs. Fear I say it’s a bit weird, though that’s most assuredly in the vernacular here. Admittedly this is a far cry from my fave discs of yore, this one has a somewhat mid-career projection built in, something of an inverted, punctuated retrospective. The lost-in-time rhythms on Iris Was a Pupil is something of a short story in the making. There’s something of Japanese origins in the jangle, while Popol Vuh would be proud to have these men as their rightful decendents. A sleeper.
LISTEN TO y7
Does It Look Like I’m Here?
Everyone seems to be talking about this record, so I finally had to sit down and reckon with it. Available on CD and in a double gatefold vinyl package the trio here is John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt and Mark McGuire and this is their third full-length release. Right from the top there are hues of harmonic tones reminiscent of so much that evolved from the beloved era better known as Krautrock. This is something new though, incorporating a layer of the known and the next. Stringy, warm and dare I say dreamy, one can almost hear the sound of multiple colors popping on Candy Shoppe. Variable electronics fuse with guitar in a hazy, laidback mix. Double Helix stirs things up with vintage hooks ala Tangerine Dream or Holger Czukay. Complete with soft edges and sparkling rhythms, this is most certainly what one would call an LP as in long-player! There’s a complete thought even though Does It Look Like I’m Here? poses the ultimate of questions. The listener can appreciate something here about deep listening as this record washes over your body like an MRI would scan. Stay still and pay attention, and close your eyes for full impact. It pulses with bright melodies that retain a low-rise stream-of-consciousness throughout, blending shoegazer polish with psychedelic hutzpah. I love the racing speed of the title track, gushing droplets of spunky spacey electronica. Though a great track unto itself Now You See Me perhaps is the only cut that stands out awkwardly, using a vocal sample and less disguised guitars. Inducing a whirling haziness and synergistic pattern tracks like Shade and Summerdata really enforce the overall atmosphere as one of free falling in open air. The residual effects of where Emeralds have picked up from and produced here may give new breath to the entire backcatalogue of stalwarts like Can, Neu and Amon Düül. Sweet, sophisticated without any cloying aftertaste.
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER
Welcome to cryptic caustic contained chaos. Nil Admirari is an odd opener, but proves its point, taking no prisoners. This is Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin), a Bostonian building his bite since ’07. After entering this maze the blend of sounds land smack dab in a trancendentalist Tangerine Dream soundtrack of sorts. This dark passageway strides through both the luminous Describing Bodies and the ambient/rubbery Stress Waves. Returnal is Lopatin’s fourth record, and not your average bear, nor a rocket ship for that matter. There’s this flavor of a tinkering experimenter tuning things and along the way discovers and embellishes some finer elongated melodies. That futzing plays in its favor. Then comes the title track, only strangely transitional, which sort of plays like a down-mixed variation on The Knife vs. Vangelis on sleeping pills. A flare of psych haziness is scattered throughout (Pelham Island Road), a bit like a bad trip I might suppose. And then comes the restrained tribute to Steve Hillage on Where Does Time Go with repetitious and cooler tone moogy rhythms. The overall atmosphere on Returnal is pretty grey, effervescing for shy moments only to retreat and carry on. Not for everyone (mastered by James Plotkin), discs like this often disappear into the greater subconscious only rising up for the true lover of the unexpected.
UK’s Clubroot has officially arrived with his second release, a freshly original self-titled record. At first listen the opening Orbiting and Waterways have this sort of updated, post Deep Forest atmospheric world sound. This dense and ethereal warm harmony with vocal treatments reminiscent of tropical bird calls opens slowly but pretty surely. The shoegazer beat here emerges with a certain breath, one that amps up dreamy ambient. As things move forth Dry Cured slowly builds the bpms without losing the subtle curves in the sound structure. Finely blended rhythms here are both velvety at times and poker-faced elsewhere. There are even hints of the best Y2K-era Pet Shop Boys remixes on both Whistles & Horns and Toe to Toe (listen very closely). These few scattered, savvy moments show a reliance towards pop that separates this from many of its predecessors in the growing world of dubstep. It can also distance the trained ear some, but only those expecting the most technical of IDM, but that would honestly be boring. Closure is perhaps the only track that seems a bit thinly repetitive of some of the themes heard on this LoDubs production. Still this expands, filling with formidable textures that are tangibly and tantalizingly tactile, standing unflaggingly solo without regret. And Clubroot does so here without snubbing anything in particular, but borrowing graciously from uncharted territory — a bit of a crockpot, simmering assimilations of stylings by the likes of Enigma, Cornershop and to a lesser degree Portishead before they each made their own signature. Though it’s just a wink, not a remake. It’s the in-betweeness that makes this such a bright future to look forward to.
9.22.07 [2-3 P.M.]
Concert Silence is the Portland-based duo comprised of Charles Buckingham and Matthew Cooper. The disc (or 2xLP) is titled 9.22.07. Here six untitled tracks weave harmoniously into each other. In an edition of 900 (in both formats) the cover art is a visual play on seeing, a blurry and myopic treat manipulating organic material by Jason Evans (from It Is What It Is). A sonic low-fi bass hum cascades like a dense waterfall while the ‘chatter’ of electronics awkwardly tumbles like a visceral sphere of jagged matter. Paired with the delicate sounds of these two gentlemen it’s not clear how the origins of their experiment began over kombucha, but that seems less relevant than the warm, meandering tones that fill a room sensitively. I suppose the image of fermentation might be relative, though on this recording the quietude has an air of the Spring solstice, things popping, spreading like pollen.