Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Hype Wrangler

We're almost a third of the way through the year so I though now is a good time to take a look at the records other sites are going crazy over. Sometimes the others are right...but ofter they're very, very wrong. Let's see how some of these stack up to the Hype Wrangler.
Most recently it's been the young lads in Los Llamarada securing internet hype from the most worthy of places. Roland over at Siltblog was the first to bite into their debut long-player, The Exploding Now (SS Records, currently on fire) and Dusted's Doug Mosurak followed. Both love the group from Monterrey, Mexico, as they should. The record is quite a jarring listen through and through, as if the youngsters are learning to play and write on the spot with the tape rolling. I could throw out references to Jandek, Teenage Jesus, Cheater Slicks, etc...blah blah outsider this...but honestly, you just have to hear it. Their live show has received numerous thumbs up after only one gig in the states, including slobbering praise from Jared Phillips of Times New Viking, and this LP would get two thumbs up from me if it didn't already have me sucking on one of mine. Will end up on the year-end lists of people smarter than you. A-
One of the most highly-praised records of the year would have to be Panda Bear's Person Pitch, an excellent collection of sunny, melodic pop with stoneddd Wilson/Spector vibe, and like with those two I dunno if the vibes are all good. It's not your average "Pop" that Mr. Lennox presents here, instead a maze of loop-based mantras derived mainly from samples and Lennox's multi-layered vocals. Even without the delicious harmonies, it'd be an excellent (and very listenable) collage experiment. Not surprisingly, Pitchfork and Dusted are both on board, and I'll give it a hearty recommendation, as it's probably the best album he's been a part of. B+
The same two sites have been at the forefront of the hype for the year's biggest piece of trash thus far, Cryptograms by jangle-dance casualties Deerhunter. This record is horrible
, people, and anyone who thinks this is good will surely be looking back in shame in a year or two. It's aimless, third-rate Happy Mondays (a second-rate band to begin with) meets second-rate Animal Collective. Does that sound like fun? Don't let the groovy Op-Art sleeve or Exploding Plastic video fool you...Deerhunter are the Rapture of 2007. Now that SXSW is behind us their 15 mins are officially up. D+
From Here We Go Sublime, by the Field, is a hyped record I can really sink my teeth into. Stylus gives it a top score, and I must agree that it is one of the better albums to ever come out of the always solid Kompact stable. The Field makes fairly traditional house, creating lush, uh, fields of rhythm with subtle twists and turns. Lionel Richie's "Hello" is sampled, Frippertronics are applied, but the secret weapon of this album is the post-Fennesz/Endless Summer melodic glow that fogs up the space of each track. May go down as the best big electronic record of the year and definitely deserving of any and all praise. A-

Finally, a record that's really been heavy on my mind the past week or so...Circle's newest, Tower, out on Last Visible Dog. If you liked the Finnish masters' ambient opus Miljard from last year then you'll assuredly love Tower....Blastitude and aQuarius (surprise, surprise...they gush over anything Circle) are into it. The record is a focused and trimmed extension of Miljard's expansive, slow-moving ambiance...much more upbeat and riveting but still remains calming. Think Eno's ambient masterpieces meet In a Silent Way. Each track is based around a different repetitive, jazzy percussion track with various analog and synthesized keys creating the rest of the movement. Constantly evolving, taking new shapes within each song yet remaining steady, Tower can be as demanding or as unassuming as you wish. Fantastic! A
There you have it. Was it a tad lazy of me to toss off these write-ups after a week of zero posts? Sure. But I had some things I had in the back of my head that just wouldn't go away. I'm taking another week off (I know, and I'm sorry) but when I return I promise to get back to at least two posts a week. Until then, go get that Circle record. And visit SS while you're at it and pick up a vinyl of the Llamarada record, as it is limited.


electric pure land said...

circle circle circle!
nothing made me happier than seeing them at the HiV a lil' ways back AND they had their own sound guy... so i just fucking danced and danced.
Check out Urdog, they were on tour with circle... total 'piper at the gates' worship.. but solid as fuck.

I think the deerhunter record, overall, is over-rated, BUT 'strange lights' its a fucking mammoth single and should be played at parties this summer then retired, much like 'house of jealous lovers' was the sound of a particular summer, and you knew it was dated every time you put in on BUT you knew girls would dance to it so you played it anyway.

seanzilla said...

...most obnoxious and neverending summer party song of all-time: Beastie Boys "intergalactic"

i thank the dalai lama every day, that their career died along with bucket-hat golf-visors and platinum tips

seanzilla said...

CIRCLE and L'Llamarada: wowee zowee!