Monthly Archives: May 2008

Ólafur Arnalds – Variations of Static

I bought this album direct from the label after listening to a single track off of myspace. I found the site after reading someone’s post on tgq’s music thread. Even the funds were transferred electronically.

Ten plus years after Rushkoff and the rest, it’s still kinda cool.

Variations of Static: short, intense press of strings, piano dotted by subtle electronics. It’s a bit sad, tangy, and dank. Reminds me a bit of the soundtrack to Angels of the Universe by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Sigur Rós, though not as helplessly bright.


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M83 – Saturdays=Youth

Pure shine pop.

Every song on this album exists as the soundtrack to a perfect prom that exists only in the imaginations of relatively well-adjusted people. It’s intensely focused on delivering that feeling of what being young and invincible is imagined to have been like.

It’s almost a little too much at points but never quite crosses over into parody. It gets real close though:

” Like a moth she moves to the red light
Her blood warms and boils there
She skims the sweat like a new milk
And pops the buttons off her wet blouse”

I don’t know what to make of that.

But I do feel like putting on a prom.

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Isis – In the Absence of Truth & Mouth of the Architect – Ties That Blind

The indie/hipster post-rock-label- label- label- grind-death-jazz-fusion thing continues to tear along in weird places. So you end up with some really good things, like Genghis Tron, but outside of the more extreme Casio grind bands you also have this post-rock/prog metal fusion that’s pretty popular. Off the top of my head you have Pelican, Cult of Luna, Jesu, anyone who’s ever put out anything on Hydrahead Records, and stuff like that. Wikipedia actually calls this “post-metal” but as the Father of Lies, we would expect nothing less. I will agree with the Lord of Fetid Hosts, however, in blaming most of this on Neurosis.

The biggest name among all of these newer folk is Isis. Friends of mind have been repping Isis fairly hard for a while now, but I’m two albums into this particular journey and I still just don’t get it. Panopticon struck me as being very flat, and while I do like the way the band plays together quite a bit, I think the singing is, at best, ill-considered. Continue reading

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Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Lie Down in the Light

For the longest time I’ve described Will Oldham’s music as the sound of a bewildered encounter with the eternal feminine. I don’t know if that fully stands anymore, but it does accurately describe obvious classics like I See a Darkness.

But Lie Down in the Light is far more celebratory than baffled, which is a nice change of pace. I fully agree that women are a deeply confusing species, but the duets with Ashley Webber are a nice way to move past that heavy feeling of being sledgehammered by life and love. Continue reading

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