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Nice Nice, "Yesss!"

Consider this a continuation or addendum or something for my last review of Nice Nice. After I covered the Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter EPs I got some into some pleasant debates which resulted in my receiving of their EP Yesss! on Audraglint.

 

Audraglint

I'm not going to take back anything I said about the seasonal EPs on Temporary Residence. I will, however gladly state that Yesss! is Jason Buehler and Mark Shirazi's greatest release as Nice Nice to date. I liked their debut LP Chrome, but it was all over the map. When you take two ADHD kids spewing out numerous songs of through different styles and confine them to one EP, there can be some surprisingly focused results. The five songs on groove with finesse, with vocals, bass, drums, and whatever else they're actually throwing in. I think by the recording of this they've dropped that gimmick of claiming to be playing everything live in the studio as there's undeniably some multitracking going on, with bass playing, guitar riffs, vocals, and drums all at the same time in spots. The three remixes that go along with them (Caural, Stars As Eyes, and DJ/Rupture) are euaqlly as classy and none of them lose any of the magic: they hold to the feeling the band initiated don't let go and don't leave their muddy footprints all over the place.

Yesss! was originally released back in 2004 and it's been a bitch to find. When it showed up I was ecstatic. What I first noticed about Audraglint years ago is that there's the uttmost respect for attention to fine details, all the covers share a similar aesthetic and actually feel very nice, commanding that desire to find out what musical contents lie within (reminder: it was from Audraglint that the world experienced Nudge for the first time, perhaps one of the greatest new bands in the last five years). Fortunately I have yet to be underwhelmed.

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

Tara Jane O'Neil

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Review of the Day

aMute, "A Hundred Dry Trees"
Intr_version
This is an example of a full-length that perfectly, if predictably, fulfills my expectations. aMute's track on last year's Intr_version compilation formed the undeniable centerpiece of the disc. If not the most showy piece, it was certainly the most effective, dropping in from behind the preceding track almost invisibly and, through graceful crescendos, sucking the entire sampler into its icy expanse, enough to haunt the remainder of the disc and nearly summarize the label's melancholic ethos in a eight short minutes. For his debut album, Jérôme Deuson provides not only an extended version of that song, "Aux creux des vagues, mon visage," but also seven others that match its mood easily, creating a work that seems cut from the same graying, crystalline tapestry, full of bristly folds and wide, smothering fuzz. Deuson's technique is nothing shocking, an intricate, but not over-complex entangling of effects-heavy guitar, processed feedback noise, and windy, chime-ful ambience, all allowed to dive and swoop through layers of minimal bass and the smallest of percussive clicks. None of the tracks are particularly grounded; rather they float in a structure-less haze that serves the cold, discreet passages conjured by aMute's harmonic sensibility, the same economized, somber aesthetic of his labelmates Joshua Treble, Mitchell Akiyama, and The Beans. Like his friends, Deuson's approach is geared away from bending his guitar towards extremes in distortion or processed disintegration and more towards crafting careful, meaningful builds via simple melodic strands with clear resolutions. The frosty ambiance, of scattered windchimes and stuttering drones, carries these tracks into the oblivion they require; however, Deuson's playing maintains a directness that attaches a cinematic feel throughout. Certain left-field inclusions, like muffled vocal samples and a track of naked French speech, add to the feeling of remove that I (perhaps too quickly) tend to associate with some set of fixed visual correspondents. This might form my one criticism of A Hundred Day Trees, that, for all its sad majesty, the album seems a bit limited in its expressive power, leaving me in the same place after each listen. It could be the relative homogeneity of the tracks or the similarity to other recent releases by the label, not bad qualities at all, just not enough to prove that aMute doesn't have better in store for next time.

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