Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Music 2-23-2013

Autechre - Exai (2013)

Autechre are known for releasing overlong albums, but this beast right here has17 tracks and breaks the two-hour mark by about half a minute. Their sound has always been one I’ve enjoyed immensely, but in small doses. Theirs is a rather unique take on electronic music; it’s not meant to be danced to and shuns repetitive, blaring beats for a more scattershot noisy-synthesizer approach. There are a lot of sounds that vaguely resemble a DJ scratching, although they’re created by synthesizers. A lot of otherworldly sounds, but no real sense of rhythm, or at least none that last especially long. Overall, their music is dark, eerie and unpredictable, with a lot of low-end sounds. I haven’t explored their extensive discography in its entirely, my collection consisting of three LPs and an EP from various points in their career. This is music for a specific place and time, perhaps more so than most music since the mood it creates isn’t one I’m in especially often. It is highly creative though and hits the spot when the mood is right.

Indians - Somewhere Else (2013)

I have never had to deal with two artists/bands of the same name in my iTunes library, but adding this record almost made it happen me as I have a sludge metal album by a band called Indian there already. Thankfully, Indians went the plural route and saved me from this minor inconvenience though the name is slightly misleading because Indians is one guy, from Denmark, and his music, far from being primitive, makes heavy use of electronics and other modern recording effects. Still, there’s an intimacy and even minimalism to the music that makes it a modern album that feels a bit desolate. 

The sound could, with a stretch, be called dream pop. The term bedroom pop also fits, sort of, but that term still doesn’t quite feel legitimate to me. I struggled a bit deciding what genre to label this in my library, finally settling on "indie pop" because I didn't want to think about it anymore. The vocals is heavily reverbed (think Youth Lagoon but less so) and it comes off very somber. He sings rather softly over soft music, generally a bed of synth noise and notes, with occasional percussion. Some tracks are built around an acoustic guitar, with a sound manipulated to be the loudest thing on the record. Whatever he's singing, sounds emotionally fragile, and the music conjures a sense of melancholy. Despite this, the music avoids sounding mundane and the singer manages to avoid sounding like a baby. It's weird, but this is incredibly mellow and chilly music that puts me in a pleasant state of mind.

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