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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Taking its name from the French word for concealing and safekeeping valuables, Cached houses a plethora of audio trinkets and toys, each vibrantly life-affirming in its delicate yet dense textures. Hopefully its contents won't remain secret for too long.

Cached is replete with citrus-sweet acoustic melodies, exuding on the surface an easygoing, drowsy mellowness, evocative of summer evenings on balconies overlooking parks teeming with people. Adding a profusion of colors and timbres to what remains a quintessentially rhythmic conception, electronic currents linger, undermine and insinuate themselves into these songs, like wasps under the floorboards or mysterious noises in the attic.

Nudge's approach is a common one: they subject improvised work to post-production and editing and, lo and behold, the result is something new and fresh. The amusing thing about Cached is its refusal to confine itself to the usual dogmas of the music styles it references (African rhythmic patterns, ambient sound sculpture, and post-rock melancholia). The unbound passages sidestep desiccated orthodoxies of academic improv with startling simplicity: repeating melodic motifs of Rhodes piano or organ appear in the midst of long sections of broken atonality. Other passages follow a delirious logic, each sound edged in at an odder angle than the last, driving the music in strange directions rather than shoehorning it into regular rhythmic or harmonic structure. Judicious editing creates tension and drama after the fact, such as the moment when, after a brief hiatus, the musicians come booming back — a trifle implausibly, but nevertheless imaginatively.

The music refuses to settle for long in any one place. It's a consistently inventive flux of scraped guitars, springy, flailing drums and high-strung, jitterbugging textures — noisy to a point, but substituting an enticing clarity and sensuality for the shock tactics of the noise confrontationists. Inspection reveals wire-thin high-frequency tick-tocks, chirrups and shrills, penetrating and irritating like mercurial stilettos or tinfoil migraines. When run together in the piece "No Come Back," however, the effects provide a gregarious burble of communion and purpose, colored with a fecund, vital presence.

With its willingness to indulge in styles from funk, to echoes of Eastern percussion, smeared, scraped and treated trumpet and spangly lo-fi electronics, Cached emphasizes the incongruity of the various elements that comprise their work, making the ensuing awkwardness the hub of their compositional technique. And, perhaps surprisingly enough, it works wonders, although one could wish that the work as a whole did not always side with the pleasure principle and instead stayed in one place long enough to flesh out a particular idea or sentiment.

To this end, "My New Youth" finds the trio relishing the dense opacity of low-resolution samples, reveling in the 8-bit fuzz and hiss that accumulates around a grimy synthetic string section. With the piece "Classic Mode," seductive synth and organ cutup changes a slightly African sunny-day shimmer into cavernous mind expansions, before seeping into mercurial, pastoral drift. Honey Owen's breezy voice, when it decides to peek its head above the surface, as it does periodically in five of Cached's nine compositions, is an instrument capable of real warmth. This being said, it too is often subjected to sonic roughing-up and is left wrapped in a sticky coating of distortion. More often than not, Owen starts a song pussycat furry and ends it goggle-eyed and feral.

The disparate approaches to sound aside, Cached exhibits congruence and focus that make it less a random thought tangent and more a glimpse into someone’s serene spiritual muse. These works are intricate, dense, but wholly engaging. Not an album for purists, but a more instantly rewarding, exciting and accessible document would be difficult to find.

by Max Schaefer

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