Monthly Archives: June 2011

You Guys Clearly Feel Like You Need Some Discipline In Here

This is just one of many variations on a common argument these days about artistic oversupply, inter(hyper)connectivity and the general ennui that many of the more vocal type of music fan seems to find themselves in these days. It’s too easy; it’s undervalued; a whole generation does not value what we used to value; the embarrassment of riches.

I don’t understand these arguments. I do not “get it”. I keep trying and failing.

(Somewhere, someone with a degree in missing the point sums up all of these things as “first-world problems” or, more commonly, “white people problems”.) Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under music

Borngräber & Strüver – Urlaub

Kommische? Capiche?

My only complaint about this rather hefty three track EP is that the middle selection – “Berlin Tribal Music” is a seven minute filler piece. It is not unpleasant, but it lacks the relentless thrust which marks the lineage of Urlub. It seems odd to say “Well, twenty-eight minutes is too short, but thirty-five would be just right, so let’s glue on this floaty ethno-dubbish piece that feels completely out of place between two far longer tracks.” It seems unlikely that anyone actually said this out loud, but someone probably should have.

That said, this is a delightful nighttime driving soundtrack. Preferably urban and deserted; failing that, something coastal.

Opener “Riese” is the more upbeat of the two “bangers”; a single staccato melody sandwiched with perfectly smooth minimal tech percussion and surprisingly cheesy-but-effective synth washes.

Closer “Dancing Queen” is either so earnest my jaded brain can’t even begin to process it or so jaded my earnest heart is simply unable to keep up. This twofer seems to have a love of the kind of synthy string sound that would be written off as far too much cheddar in most other contexts, has enough “funk” swing to be just about excusable here.

http://www.myspace.com/borngraeberandstruever

Leave a comment

Filed under music

Moon – Caduceus Chalice

As tends to happen these days, I preordered this album from a few songs I’d heard on his Myspace page.

Yes, it’s one man black metal. But it’s not really one man black metal.

The cover art is terrible, comprised entirely of cliches.

The typography is far more blasphemous than any declaration of anti-religious dedication; must everyone use these shitty Black Forest “gothic” fonts?

The logo is remarkably dull even for a field most noted for its wide array of remarkably dull logos, though it gains a few points by being both unreadable and symmetrical. A novel approach to the otherwise unimaginative “u can’t read me hail satan” squiggle routine.

It’s a fucking aesthetic nightmare on the outside. Even looking at the .jpg of the cover makes me angry. I had to cover it with a Post-it note just to complete this review. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under music

Laurel Halo – Hour Logic

This is a well-crafted love letter of sorts to the mid-90s. A little Basic Channel, a dash of Global Communications, and a hell of a lot of Higher Intelligence Agency. As such, it carries both the strengths (experiments with sounds and textures, lush for the sake of lushness) and weaknesses (severe repetition) of that moment in musical time.

Some objections: It is a bit baffling; it’s an an odd hill to die on; it often sounds like the weaker and more forgettable moments of the largely forgettable career of HIA* – but she’s enough of a tastemaker to inspire some copycats. Some of these copycats will go in new directions via inspiration rather than settling for echoing the echoes of an echo.

This warms my heart with nostalgia, and perhaps even – dare we say it? – hauntology.

* The fantastic matchups with Biosphere excepted, mind you. He helped transmute their laziness into gold.

Leave a comment

Filed under music