Reviews

Rene Hell, ‘Vanilla Call Option’

September 30, 2013

Rene Hell, ‘Vanilla Call Option’ PAN, 9/15/2013 As I listen to the new Rene Hell album, Vanilla Call Option, I find myself thinking about composition. Electronic music, like every other form of composition, comes with a curiously imposed set of expectations. The music equipment does a particular thing more naturally than it does something... 

Euglossine, ‘Dance District’

September 30, 2013

Euglossine, ‘Dance District’ MJMJ Records, 9/14/2013 Dance District is the latest release from Gainesville synth wizard Euglossine (real name Tristan Whitehill), and his first on MJMJ Records. Before I had ever heard Whitehill’s solo music, I had seen him play keyboards with groups like Levek, MSNRA, Jovian Junction Orchestra... 

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno, ‘Doobie Wonderland’

September 26, 2013

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno, ‘Doobie Wonderland’ Parallax Sounds, 9/2/2013 This is what happens when love transcends apathy, content becomes form, the ephemeral now achieves eternity. This is what happens when time synthesizes perfectly with space, when the mind becomes body and the body a purely mental phenomenon. “This” — the word Bertrand... 

Deep Magic, ‘Reflections of Most Forgotten Love’

September 26, 2013

Deep Magic, ‘Reflections of Most Forgotten Love’ Preservation, 7/4/2013 As a touring member of Sun Araw — Cameron Stallones’ loose troupe of humid dub rovers — Deep Magic‘s Alex Gray will have been exposed to his fair share of psychedelic heat. Stallones’ music doesn’t so much evoke dense tropical warmth as drown you... 

Huerco S., ‘Colonial Patterns’

September 24, 2013

Huerco S., ‘Colonial Patterns’ Software Recording Co., 9/24/2013 Genre tags can be a bitch. The past ten years have seen many, both serious and annoyingly ironic, work their way into the collective conscious, only to fade away as quickly as they arrived. While I’m mostly ambivalent on the subject, the most intriguing new tag... 

Ken Camden, ‘Space Mirror’

September 23, 2013

Ken Camden, ‘Space Mirror’ Kranky, 7/29/2013 It would be easy to assess guitarist Ken Camden‘s second Kranky LP, Space Mirror, simply according to the letter of its title. In terms of extended ambient and experimental composition, “space” is typically cashed out in terms of the mysterious realms of astronomy... 

Spectral Park, ‘Spectral Park’

September 20, 2013

Spectral Park, ‘Spectral Park’ Mexican Summer/Crash Symbols, 5/2/2013 It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sample-based music is only something that happens in the worlds of rap, dance, or other musical forms tangentially related to those genres. Really though (and this should come as no mystery to anyone frequenting... 

Bill Callahan, ‘Dream River’

September 19, 2013

Bill Callahan, ‘Dream River’ Drag City, 9/17/2013 “There were no extra songs – I’m not an amateur.” That’s Bill Callahan’s insight, from a 2011 Stereogum interview, regarding the relative brevity of Apocalypse, the seven-song predecessor to Dream River. The response was likely given with the deadpan humor that has permeated... 

PAS Musique, ‘Abandoned Bird Egg’

September 16, 2013

PAS Musique, ‘Abandoned Bird Egg’ Alrealon Musique, 07/22/2013 Experimental collective PAS Musique released an album called Pure Energy Output Sessions a couple years ago, and the Myspace URL listed in the sleeve suggests that their name is an acronym for “Post Abortion Stress.” This isn’t meant literally as a reference... 

Bad News, ‘No End’

September 13, 2013

Bad News, ‘No End’ Chondritic Sound, June 2013 Of the myriad underground freaks rolling in the mud left behind by mid-’80s industrial, I tip my hat to Clay Rendering, Pop. 1280 and Bad News for each possessing the will to rock. Now, don’t misunderstand me: there certainly exists others out there informed by rock music.... 

Infinity Frequencies, ‘Computer Death’

September 12, 2013

Infinity Frequencies, ‘Computer Death’ Self Released, 5/14/2013 Music is a negotiation of space. The most stimulating pieces of music make the best use of density and scarcity. Music is architecture, and this component is key. When a work’s silence is properly framed, this relative emptiness provides a space that is uniquely conducive... 

Seefeel, ‘Quique’

September 12, 2013

Seefeel, ‘Quique’ Modern Classics Recordings/Medical Records, 8/27/2013 One of the challenges of being a music fan is striking a balance between keeping up with current releases, and finding time to appreciate what’s come before. Far too often we find ourselves trying to stay afloat in a torrent of new music, in which... 

M. Geddes Gengras, ‘Collected Works Vol. 1: The Moog Years’

September 10, 2013

M. Geddes Gengras, ‘Collected Works Vol. 1: The Moog Years’ Umor Rex Records, 8/20/2013 Over the last several years, M. Geddes Gengras has built a solid rep as one of the American underground’s most dependably ‘interesting’ musicians. His material has appeared on crucial labels like 905 Tapes, Sicsic Tapes, Tape Drift, and Stunned Records,... 

Dead in the Dirt, ‘The Blind Hole’

September 6, 2013

Dead in the Dirt, ‘The Blind Hole’ Southern Lord Records, 8/6/2013 This is my first review of a grindcore release for Decoder, so I feel obliged to expound on a genre so often misunderstood, maligned, and caricatured as to render a critical appreciation all but impossible for those not already “in the know” — and if you can only...