(sub)urban soundcheck.


Our Brother the Native – Sacred Psalms [2009 – FatCat]
June 24, 2009, 8:19 pm
Filed under: experimental | Tags:

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1. Well Bred – 4:00
2. Manes – 3:59
3. Someday – 4:08
4. All Grown – 3:25
5. Dusk – 7:11
6. Child Banter – 4:25
7. Awaken – 4:22
8. Sores – 4:02
9. Behold – 6:09
10. Endless Winter – 5:44

“Recorded, produced and mixed by Josh in his basement studio between January and August 2008, ‘Sacred Psalms’ draws on elements of both previous albums, whilst extending their instrumental range and the sheer depth and quality of their recordings. Inspired by a love of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Javanese Gamelan music (sampled fragments of which drift through the mix), and with a vast array of sounds and ideas flowing about, this is both their most eclectic release to date and a fully coherent attempt to culminate and draw on everything good the band had previously committed. There are elongated pieces which ebb and flow with a great depth and detail, and somewhat more concise and immediate verse/chorus-based songs.” –



Maudlin of the Well – Part the Second [2009 – Self-Released)
June 21, 2009, 9:49 pm
Filed under: experimental, post-rock | Tags:

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1. An Excerpt From 6,000,000,000,000 Miles Before the First, or, The Revisitation of the Blue Ghost – 10:56
2. Another Excerpt: Keep Light Near You, Even When Dying – 5:59
3. Rose Quartz Turning to Glass – 7:30
4. Clover Garland Island – 8:18
5. Laboratories of the Invisible World (Rollerskating the Cosmic Palmistric Postborder) – 11:50

“Maybe the most exciting parts of Part the Second are the moments that can’t be traced to anything Driver has done before. The opening notes of the album conjure the legato tapping of Minus the Bear covering “Gleam in Ranks.” The smooth pentatonic piano and solo violin of “Rose Quartz Turning to Glass” sound like they belong to Lou Harrison’s Three Pieces, and manage to sweep me off of my feet every time. The synthesized vibes and bells against the violin of “Another Excerpt…” are from some kind of gorgeous, cinematic dream state previously hidden away in the less challenging back rooms of Driver’s music. These moments sound as if they’ve been gleaned from some other composer and woven in – rather beautifully – into Maudlin of the Well’s core sound . . . Part the Second is a truly great album, not for what it can evoke in a pining Maudlin of the Well fan or what it tells a Driver devotee about the composer’s personal progression, but for all it achieves on its own.” – Nick Greer



Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue [2009 – Warp]
June 19, 2009, 8:10 pm
Filed under: experimental, folk | Tags:

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1. Ambivalence Avenue (3:37)
2. Jealous of Roses (2:32)
3. All the Flowers (1:02)
4. Fire Ant (4:57)
5. Haikuesque (When She Laughs) (3:26)
6. Sugarette (3:52)
7. Lovers’ Carvings (3:54)
8. Abrasion (2:45)
9. S’Vive (4:03)
10. The Palm of Your Wave (2:19)
11. Cry! Baby! (3:57)
12. Dwrcan (5:55)

“Stephen Wilkinson, a.k.a Bibio, follows up February’s wonderful Vignetting The Compost with a jaunt to Warp records for his fourth full-length release, Ambivalence Avenue. The near-absence of the lo-fi field music vibe of Vignetting… and its predecessors, coupled with the introduction of programmed beats and an elaboration in genre references, are the clearest signals of Bibio’s marked change in direction here. Fire Ant features relentlessly chopped vocal cuts over a chunky boom-bap beat, that has more in common with the likes of Hudson Mohawke than with any of Bibio’s previous outings. S’vive is a funky slice of continental dance-hop reminscent of Daft Punk or The Avalanches. On more familiar ground are tracks like Haikuesque, Lovers’ Carvings, and the lead single Ambivalence Avenue, which explore a terrain of colour-drenched guitar polyphony, light percussion and psychedelic vocals, which instantly have Wilkinson’s mark on them. Ambivalence Avenue sounds like Bibio flexing his creative muscles, while still fuelled by the subtle flourishes, in both melody and production, that distinguished his previous works. An impressive progression from a natural talent.” – Martin Skivington