brainwashed

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Astral Social Club, "Neon Pibroch"

Neal Campbell continues his strong run of releases as Astral Social Club. This album should satisfy fans of his impressive back catalogue, but the music here is good enough to deserve separate treatment and should not be caged in by references to the past.

Important

"Tripel Foment" begins similarly to Campbell's other experiments in ambient beatscapes. A bassy, four-on-the-floor techno pluse pushes the track along pleasantly. But the track becomes compelling when he ditches that rhythm and lets his sounds fly untethered. The song keeps its momentum as scraps of sound detritrus float over the mix like luminous insects. At 12 minutes, the pitch bends up sharply as the song hits its crescendo. A looped guitar riff breaks in while a tremeloed static whirls in the foreground, carrying the beat for a few more minutes till a sudden and jolting rest ends the song.

The rest of the album lacks the percussive backbone which holds up "Tripel Foment," but they hold their own unhurried vitality. The title track meanders for more half its length before finding critical mass. Reversed chime swells and subdued guitar picking float lazily into a thicket of resonate beeps and flanged bellowing. The signal processing fights against this dense buildup, diluting the racket until it becomes a limp mass, percolating into gradual silence. "Big Spree" has the same meditative pacing, being built around a cloudy snyth drone peppered with icy, ringing tones that build into a snow storm of radiant sound particulate.

As detailed as each composition on this record is, they are certainly not fast paced. No song here is under 12 minutes, but Campbell is not the kind of musician that mistakes subtlety for monotony. Stale sounds are gently taken away from the mix or processed into something entirely different. The basic components are very simple: a three note guitar figure; pieces of static; some bells and chimes. Isolated from the whole they would sound thin and artificial, but within the tightly wound arrangements of this album they take on a cosmic immensity.

samples:

 

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

Larsen

YouTube Video


read more >>>

Review of the Day

MATMOS, "THE CIVIL WAR"
Matador
Upon first listen, The Civil War sounds completely unlike anything I've ever heard from Matmos. Initially, it is quite a struggle to place this new album in context with their previous work, which is characterized by minutely detailed electronica full of samples constructed from non-musical objects and field recordings. In stark contrast, most of the tracks on The Civil War are non-conceptual, traditionally structured songs with easily digestible melodies and chord progressions. Many of the medieval, folk and symphonic instruments on this album reach the listener untouched, without the usual precise surgical edits and digital processing that Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt have built their career on. This will be quite a shock for those who have become acquainted with Matmos through albums such as Quasi Objects and A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure. Even The West, though it was purportedly an exploration of country and blues, still shared the same fascination with sample-derived audio minutiae. So, it's fair to say that The Civil War is quite a departure. Luckily, the gamble pays off. I believe The Civil War is a singularly original record, effortlessly merging the medievalist whimsy of late-60's British folk revivalism with the collective unconscious of America's folk music past, all glued together with Matmos' incredible ear for sonic detail. On The Civil War, Matmos dares to allow simple melodies and crisply reproduced instruments to assert themselves as the primary element of the music. For the most part, Matmos have masked any obvious laptop editing and sequencing, preferring instead to let the digital processing underscore and accentuate the songs, rather than deconstruct them. Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt have spoken about the influence of The Incredible String Band on the new album. With classic albums like The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter and Wee Tam, the Incredibles created a new musical lexicon with their unorthodox, free-form combinations of medieval, Celtic, American, Oriental and Indian folk traditions, which were blended with amazing fluidity and imbued with a pastoral, psychedelic mysticism all its own. With The Civil War, Matmos are creating an ISB-like amalgam for the post-techno generation. "Regicide" opens the album, a lovely tribute to "Chinese White," the opening track to the Incredible's 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion - a hurdy-gurdy drone highlighted by a stately recorder melody and gently fingerpicked acoustic guitar. "Zealous Order of Candied Knights" is a rollicking Rennaisance symphony complete with horn fanfare, courtly drumming and some curiously Appalachain fiddle playing courtesy of guest Blevin Blectum. Throughout the album, instrumental tropes of the American Civil War are resurrected, along with the incongruous drone of synthesizers, including a vintage Buchla expertly played by Keith Fullerton Whitman AKA Hrvatski. These compositions have a free-form looseness, gradually finding themselves within the chaos, morphing into bright, patriotic concertos for piano and electric guitar, or gentle acoustic tributes to John Fahey or John Renbourn. The disarming "YTTE" utilizes samples from a fireworks display, expanding into a shimmering symphony of chimes, autoharp and guitar. "For the Trees" is the repeated musical motif of the album, a sweet, loping melody redolent of a breezy Fourth of July picnic. "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is an odd pastiche on John Philip Souza's patriotic marching-band classic, mixing a sampled instrumental rendition with throbbing beats. "Pelt and Holler" is constructed entirely from samples derived from a rabbit pelt, and as such is the only time Matmos engage their well-known propensity for constructing music from microcosmic sound events. After this brief tangent, Matmos tune into the British folk influence again, this time on "The Struggle Against Unreality Begins," where a majestic steel guitar melody is subtly intensified by sampled sewer pipe, blood and glass. Matmos' unexpected cultural cross-germination of folk traditions has yielded an album of exquisite beauty, an album that on repeated listens becomes more complex even as it affirms its simplicity. The Civil War is simply amazing.

samples:


read more >>>

Login Form



http://soundcloud.combrainwashedcom


Donate towards our web hosting bill!
Shop
		at the iTunes store