Friday, June 3, 2011

In Rotation #6

Has it ever happened to you where you buy some records or tapes that you're excited about and then grab another out of sheer curiosity and the curio ends up being the one you listen to all the time?? I feel that happens to me pretty often.
Last time I was in Exiled Records (best record store on the West Coast, at least!) I grabbed new tapes from Golden Retriever and Indignant Senility and then for the hell of it I grabbed the new Terror Bird Human Culture LP on Night People because I liked a song I heard on Free Form Freakout. [...time lapse...] Hot damn! I've been playing the shit out of this Terror Bird LP. Gothwave piano pop from Vancouver, B.C. and this shit is tops. At first, even though I liked the record from the get-go, I was worried the gothy piano-pop sound might wear thin at some point, after repeated listens; I mean, Zola Jesus didn't go wrong until she started putting out records that lasted more than 7 minutes (Terror Bird doesn't really sound like Zola Jesus but they have similar influences.) Well anyway, that worry was stupid. This thing just gets better and better; I've owned it for 5 days now and already lost count of how many times I've listened to it. It really is a case where if you put on any one of the 13 songs I will be equally happy. Some might stick in my head a little more but then others offer a modestly symphonic quality to them that I love. The songs don't all hit you in the same way but they each hit you hard; they all sound good and they all sound good together. The record sounds lo-fi (I'm guessing it was made on a 4-track with a couple keyboards, drum machine and microphone) but it doesn't sound scuzzy. It sounds clean but thin which sustains an atmosphere over the course of the record.
When it really comes down to it though, the sound is not why the record is so addictive. It's because every fucking song is fucking great! High fucking art when it comes to pop craftsmanship. Fuck.
The other tapes I got are cool but have been a little neglected in light of all of the brainwashing the Terror Bird has been doing to me. The analog synth/clarinet duo of Golden Retriever dropped a nice tape for NNA Tapes called Emergent Layer. I can't compare this to other releases since I've only heard a comp track but Matt Carlson, the synth, works some heavy disorientation via hyperactivity in the stereo spectrum. Jonathan Sielaff, the bass clarinet, humanizes the whole ordeal with his organic though copiously effected reeds, providing thoughtful melodic counterpoints to Carlson's wild-man-on-campus vibe. Synth/clarinet is definitely an odd combo (can you name others?) but these guys manage to not only subvert expectations but also effortlessly create a natural chemistry between their instruments. Very cool band.
Indignant Senility is one of many projects by Glamorous Pat Yo-Yo Dieting and considering how much I've been loving his work on Bubblethug and a DJ Yo-Yo Dieting c-90 I picked up, I wanted to see what his classical music plunderphonic project was like. Apparently he did a record of all Wagner which I haven't heard and this j-card offers no guess as to what source material is used. No matter, Blemished Breasts (pictured) on Cherried-Out Merch is definitely dense and at 100 minutes, it's a certified behemoth. I really haven't spent enough time with it to give any insight, but the source material here is much more obscured than with Yo-Yo Dieting. There's the occasional, fleeting instant where a lovely melody materializes and evaporates just as quickly, but mostly Pat just produces this stoic, oppressive force that keeps you under its thumb. I'll keep listening to this one.

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