Friday, 31 October 2014

DEAREST – BEACON

On the surface, from the start at least, this track by California ("the deserts east of Los Angeles") band DEAREST could seem just like a "regular", but still v v good, indie track – the guitars speak with a delicate honesty, the vocals stream out with soft aching (I mean, just check out (0:45) the sweetly poignant way in which singer, Tessa Bolsover, poses the question, "Do you still have dreams / of endless highways?"), a drum machine patters its pattern in the background. Everything seems normal.

But just under halfway, a portal opens up. You step through. 'Beacon' receives a simple bassline and some gentle noise plays a cosmic solo, sounds like a theremin. Vocals arrive in pitch-shifted layers, "ahh ahh ahhhh…", thin cymbals like white noise rain pour down, the beat feels bigger, kicks more pronounced…

So yes, you get the picture: this is anything but regular. Electronic precision with its clinical cosmos-conjuring vibe is paired with the raw, stark reality of live instruments, and as you heard even the vocals do not go unaltered, themselves pulled like a yielding star into the enveloping black hole of the electronics' manipulation. It is simultaneously cold and comforting, sharp and soft – long dead and perpetually haunting, but desperately alive at the same time.



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Thursday, 30 October 2014

CLAS TUUTH – HALF HOUR FROM HOME

I've been meaning to write about this guy for some time, and when opportunity knocks… open the door? Is that even a thing? I've never heard it before. Anyway, yes, this is Clas Tuuth, a musicmaker from London, whose sounds are ghostfully analogue, plainly minimalist. Listening to his music is like watching a grainy video of yourself in your most solitary moments, and from his most recent 003 EP I've picked the one that most resonates with this feel, and perhaps with me.

Called 'HALF HOUR FROM HOME' (or without the caps, which some people would deem "shouting", the fools), its title speaks a lot for the song. Perhaps not the most popular track from the EP, it nevertheless demonstrates the sound of Clas Tuuth: cassette aesthetics and singular noise, trails of atmosphere trapped inside machines dusty with crackling distortion.

Like I said, for this one it's in the title. Within the track there is the same obliterated monotony of commuting, the ennui that stales the air when it takes ages to get home from a night out, the drear feeling of wanting so much to be at home when you are not at home. It doesn't matter if you're two hours from home or half an hour from it – you're either at home or you're not; the closer you get the more you ache for its warmth.

The mechanical lamenting of the track is layered in a choir of arpeggiating voices, soft but crackly, led by a tenor of buzzing synth, gesticulating its longing with resounding reverb that seems to just stretch out the feeling; you yourself seem to expand and fill the space between home and wherever, thinly spread in patterns of draining hunger between the two until you reach one or the other.

  • I really think you should check out Clas Tuuth's 003 EP, which is out on indie label, NeedNoWater Records. If only just to see what the shit I'm talking about.



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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

SEYMOORE – RAMEN

What attracted me to this song? It is at once warm and welcoming, effusing charm with endearing itself with the soft, playful sounds of its synth.

Who is it by? It is by Seymoore, a person with a few followers on SoundCloud, and I just assume they make music. What is it called? 'Ramen'. And no, I don't just like it because of the concept of ramen – and no, I am not hungry.

However, I often do this thing, and I'm sure a zillion others do as well, where I listen to a song with its title in mind. Maybe this track kind of sounds like ramen – soupy and full of steaming flavourful notes, with understated clicking beats the gentle sounds of spoon and chopsticks as the bowl is gradually emptied of its delicious sea of delicacy.

I like the hi-hat pattern, its constant tick with the open hi-hat sound seeming random with its gem-like glisten. I like the wibbly synth, feels like improvised flute – certainly like actual noodles themselves, upheld with warm chords, chopped like samples (unless they are actually samples); I definitely like the dynamic pauses throughout the whole track, like pauses to have a glass of water with your food, or say something to somebody eating with you (like, uh, "this is so tasty" – "can i finish your food please" etc.), or otherwise just pause to think about how great life is.

0:30 – the synth goes "woo-oo" like a flailing noodle.

I truly dig the blissful chill of this. It contains within it the blissful warmth of eating food, especially your favourite food. It feels homely, kind, personable. Who are you, Seymoore? What are you doing right now? Are you eating ramen?



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