Sunday, February 3, 2013


I'm now on my fifth listen to this. I'm not as overwhelmed, but I still don't feel entirely coherent. I'm going to attempt to discuss my impressions of the music, but, truthfully, it seems a bit pointless. If you wanted to hear this as much as me, and had access to the Internet, you have it, and are listening to it, now, rather than reading this. If you didn't have the same level of excitement as me, then, I'm not sure you're going to understand what the fuss is about. At the same time, how do you describe your dreams without sounding like a small, slightly crazed child?
So, here goes-
Track 1 and 2 , "she found now" and "only tomorrow" are on the gentle end of the My Bloody Valentine spectrum. Shuffling beats with spaghetti western guitars distorted into the sound of sonar and depth charges in a Swiss lake- and yet, you'd be hard pressed to say how anything has been processed. Kevin Shields sounds like he's only using a fender, through a pretty severe fuzz box and massive volume. The rest is just in his hands.
Track 3, "who sees you" shimmers and sways almost exactly the way My Bloody Valentine are supposed to.  In fact, it may supplant "Soon" as my go-to track for explaining MBV for the uninitiated. It sounds oceanic and undulating. The vocals are about as strong as they get but still sound like whispering reeds along the shore. What is the song about? What do you want it to be about? It's just what it is.
Then, on track 4, "is this and yes", time stops, and the keyboards come in. It's like you get to step into a single bar in another song and wander about, three dimensionally. It's like being suspended in a jelly made of sound.
Then, on track 5,  "if i am" it feels like we hear the song that we were wandering in just previous. The song is lush, romantic and sentimental, like the aural equivalent of a lovely girl reminiscing in some French film made in the late 60's.
Track 6 "new you" is a dance track, but still gentle, feminine and coy. It's like the inside of some club girl's sleepy daydream- all pink, frilly, and sweet, with the beat almost an intrusion, only there because of its ubiquity.
So, the buzzing mosquito bagpipe guitars that announce track 7 "in another way" sound extra aggressive. The snare roll is machine-like, and the song is masculine and propulsive, with at twist at two minutes eighteen seconds in that sounds like the war pipes for a locomotive-riding tribe of grasshoppers from Mercury. This is Hawkwind's Silver Machine come into galactic life and it is sentient, and has its own designs.
The resolution is in the glitches and recursive loop of track 8, "nothing is". It's like a skipping record on some long-lost industrial white label EP. Kind of like a less groovy Loop, and just like Loop, it's actually very subtle- the variations are hidden inside the pounding of the beat, and then, it just vapourises.
Which leaves us with track 9, "Wonder 2", the fabled "Drum N Bass" MBV track. It sounds like skydiving in an altered state. The beat rushes by, and yet seems to be perfectly still. At about three minutes thirty seconds in, the track blooms into Brian Eno's Another Green World  and pulses and breathes on its own, while the beat keeps rushing by. Then it just ends. No resolution, no fade, no crescendo- it just ends.
So, does any of that make sense? I didn't think so, but, I'm sure I'll be talking more about this. I just hope you can see that even more so than usual- trying to write about this music is really like dancing about architecture.

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