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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quick Looks 6-29-11

Lucidstatic - "Symbiont Underground"
[Tympanik Audio]
This one got buried under some discs and I kind of forgot about it. Anyway, better late than never I suppose. "Symbiont Underground" is 23 tracks of collaborations and remixes. As you can imagine, with such a wide range of artists, the end result is rather hit or miss. Surprisingly, there is actually a fairly consistent style showcased on this album: mainly sharp, high velocity, broken breakbeats coupled with slower, more melodic atmosphere and the occasional synthline. The highlights of the first disc are the tracks with Manufactura, Mothboy and Pig Fat. The one to skip is the track with Skullduggery and its horrid overly loud faux ohgr (more like kanye west autotuned) vocals. The second disc is equally hit and miss. The tracks with ESA, Nick R 61, and Mono Penguin are the best, in my opinion. If you're a fan of Lucidstatic's style than you will probably enjoy this record. If you don't like sporadic, mangled breaks and chaotic arrangements than probably skip it. Typically a hugely prolific musician, he hasn't release in a while and I'm curious as to what his next full length will bring. He did however recently release an EP as his alter ego Pandora's Black Book via Connexion Bizarre.

Autoclav1.1 - "All Standing Room In The Goodnight Saloon"
[Tympanik Audio]
Here we have the eagerly awaited new Autoclav1.1 album. Ultimately, "All Standing Room" is more of the same. Tony Young has developed a very specific & instantly recognizable style, and it is immediately evident that this is an Autoclav album. If you're looking for a continuation of his last couple albums than you will definitely want to pick this one up. However, if you've played out those same last few records than this one will not be anything new. Either way, this album is full of beautiful piano lines, great melodic pads, straight-ahead  unbroken (ironically) beats and thick, calm, winter-esque atmospheres. Lots of good tracks that will provide an engaging listen even if its not reinventing the wheel and they all pretty much use the exact same elements. I think he has spearheaded some new electronic version of post rock (post IDM maybe?). Fans of Tympanik will enjoy this one for sure.

Dead Man's Hill - "Spirits"
[Steinklang Industries]
"Spirits" is the newest album from the prolific martial/dark ambient act. Typically, DMH produces work very similar to In Slaughter Natives, and this trend continues on "Spirits". Dark, ancient, brooding atmospheres meet with pounding ritualistic martial drums and bizarre otherworldly vocals. Though it doesn't have guitars, it almost feels like black metal at times (those are the vibes it gives off). One thing I really like about his work is how organic it all sounds; it doesn't sound like a guy in a studio trying to emulate the middle ages on a cheesy keyboard, instead it aptly conjures up visions of fog-covered forests, ancient castles, midnight rituals in moss-covered cathedral ruins, etc. I have always admired his amazing use of choirs and chanting, and he continues to deliver. The songs are generally quite long, but constantly evolve and have many parts and sections that they traverse, keeping them interesting. While yes, this is very similar to ISN, there are only a few bands doing that style (and it's such a great style) that I can't fault him for it. The production is muddy, but these are still powerful and compelling works, and if you like very dark, organic (almost medieval) martial-esque stuff and/or black metal than you will definitely want to check this out. It also comes with a video clip for the track 'Road To Sweet Waters'.

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