Tuesday, September 22, 2009

timwarrenmusic - under_score

(2009, Square Root Records)
RIYL = Dntl, Eluvium, Stars of the Lid

Tim Warren records music under the lowercase jumble of timwarrenmusic, which seems pretty self explanatory if not just a little bit odd, but there is something sorta resonant in the Warren’s recording title and the music that he has put out with under_score. Each track on the album is made up of fairly simplistic pop lengthed ambience, all working in its own little unobtrusive sphere. The music doesn’t make a case for itself as groundbreaking in its genre, or unusually euphoric or unique, but it is within the context of these modest little pieces that Warren has presented something special. First off, the music is as soothing and beautiful as the soft colourful edges an unfocused television. Of course, you’d have to mute the volume and play under_score to really get at that beauty, but it is there: brief snippets of heaven. In a genre that can be belabored by repetitious, occasionally infinite-seeming loops and drifts, under_score seems enhanced tremendously by the concision of its pop length. The tracks rarely float past the three minute mark, making them as engaging as they are succinct. This isn’t to say that Warren has created a short work. As a whole under_score is definitely shorter that, say, a Stars of the Lid double discer, but if Warren can manage the same blissful energy in a fourth of the time, that counts as a triumph to me. And it’s not like we have been begrudging any of the silty garage rock that being parade around for its brevity. Warren’s project is certainly an obscure treat that will most likely inhabit the small corners of only a few houses around the world, but for those who get there heads into those tiny corners there is a certain quaint majesty that is to be had with rewards that far outreach what you’d expect out of an album of this description. A truly stunning, beautiful document that asks little, but gives much. And, in accord with the generosity that emminates from Square Root Records, under_score is available for download for free, however, trust me when I applaud the beautiful packaging and all the extras they've tacked on to a purchase of the physical release.


download under_score from Square Root Records here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sustentacula - S/T

(2009, Rasbliutto)
RIYL = The Microphones, Dragging An Ox Through Water, Benoit Pioulard

So, as you may or may not have noticed, Fall semester has started and, subsequently, the slow descent of this here blog. However, as I get totally swept up in my studious student persona I feel it is important to pass along a few gems as they find their way to me. Sustentacula arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago and I am sorry, I should have posted about it sooner, but life…and all that. Anyways, this debut, self-titled album is a glorious, quiet little beast that you’ll most certainly want to get your grubby mitts on. The work of David Rafn, along with some of his compatriots in the Portland area, Sustentacula speaks simplistic acoustic songs through a kaleidoscope of gorgeously off kilter production and instrumentation. Rafn writes perfect acoustic bedroom pop ground up with bits of trenchant machinery and clamorous, woodsy atmospherics. The album reminds me of the very best of K Records when they were in their heyday with a few added doses of experimental ear candy. Yet, even with the nostalgia of K riding on Rafn’s back, Sustentacula feels vibrant and fresh; a necessary music that seems to be missing from the landscape of music being released to close out this decade. A stunning debut, if I might say so myself, and a saving grace for anyone floundering in a musical rut in terms of new music. I’ve got some more homework to do, so I’ll have to cut this short, but there really isn’t much more to say: ten great songs that never wander away from the high level of goodness opened up with the very first notes.


Sustentacula on MySpace