Thursday, 13 August 2020

🐣 GEORGE CLANTON & NICK HEXUM — AURORA SUMMER

⌾ LISTEN TO GEORGE CLANTON & NICK HEXUM — AURORA SUMMER ⌾

George Clanton's collaboration with Nick Hexum of rock band 311George Clanton & Nick Hexum — may not be something you instantly understand. A proponent of internet friendly vaporwave et cetera isn't the likely team-mate for the co-frontman of a band whose music represents, at least early on, that shredded splice of '90s proto-numetal and grunge we all know and love. And that is the point: Clanton is a big fan, so the real question isn't "why" but more simply, "why not?"

"This album is a collab no one asked for or predicted," Clanton says in a press release. "Nick has never pandered to a mainstream audience with his work in 311, they've always done their own thing and built their own culture around the music they wanted to make.

"I believe in that, and I've been doing my own thing for 10 years now."

Simply put, there's logic here. The logic of fandom and respect between artists that goes way beyond aesthetic tastes in genres, in stylistic direction. Calling it a "stoney side project" Hexum says in the same press release that it's "been a lot of fun to work in a new genre." Fun is the chief idea here, rather than a collobration that looks great on paper.

Happy with the "unique" project that's based purely on the music, Clanton makes it clear that neither he nor Hexum needed to do the collaboration. "I've never done one of those buzzy collabs with a hot artist in my own sphere just to get more plays," he says, adding, "There should be more records like this."

'Aurora Summer' is just one of the collection of tracks from George Clanton & Nick Hexum. Woozy Earthbound-flavoured synths waft in like the essence of some fantasy adventure or coming-of-age idea, cooked up in stew form, simmering somewhere way back in recent eons past. Hexum's guitars cut in simple melodies, adding sour to the earthy tones of Clanton's concoction; the former's vocals — distinct in tone, lilting and elastic — float fittingly in the scene.

The track summons laid-back living, warm weather, comfort, grass, sand, blue skies, clouds in small herds spiralling through the sky like the disappearing froth on a cappucino, hot pavements, beach bars, warped air distorting the space above the street. Nothing weird about this collaboration — just a concentrated cocktail of doing what feels right.



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George Clanton Internet Presence ☟
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Nick Hexum Internet Presence ☟
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Saturday, 8 August 2020

ACQUANETTA M. SPROULE — MIDNIGHT VERSION SYMPATHETIC AGONY

⌾ LISTEN TO ACQUANETTA M. SPROULE, MIDNIGHT VERSION SYMPATHETIC AGONY ⌾

When something sounds like a certain genre, but its visual style doesn't match up to said genre, the question of what it is — especially when the music doesn't seem to ascribe to any particular genre or style at all — becomes an enquiry that is lost in the ether. And that's where the music of Acquanetta M. Sproule comes in.

Feeling somewhat like the aural equivalent of outsider art, the unapologetically unpolished tracks created by this producer speak distantly of dungeon synth. Yet with no fantasty-daubed artwork to denote it as such, one can only wonder what it is. Nevertheless, with its midiwave vibe and simplistic composition, there is no question of its mood-summoning powers.

The imaginative, no-holds-barred eschewing of anything particularly traditional or trend-led helps make 'Midnight Version Sympathetic Agony' — and much of Acquanetta M. Sproule's oeuvre — refreshingly unexpected. And yet it has this world-painting drive behind it, the midi aesthetic calling to mind Hiroki Kikuta's soundtrack for Secret of Mana, particularly this track, with bass elements that feel close to the Cosmo Canyon theme in Final Fantasy VII.

And akin to such scene-setting videogame music, 'Midnight Version Sympathetic Agony' sets a mood. Its bass, percussive and propulsive, creeps and sneaks as if through shadows, while a glittery, somersaulting refrain roots this music somewhere fantastical, with hollow, airy sounds decisively tipping the track into a hidden realm of caves and curiosity.


  • πŸ”” Listen to more of Acquanetta M. Sproule's unique musical vignettes on their SoundCloud.

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Acquanetta M. Sproule Internet Presence ☟
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