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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ 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

peruse archival
Library Tapes
alone in the bright lights of a shattered life

This Swedish duo do not afford much of an opportunity to gradually uncover the undercurrents of their music, for they confess them, as it were, before the album even gets underway. At first blush, there are the achromatic photographs that adorn the albums cover — shreds of ebony cloud brew above craggy electrical transformers and power lines coated with grit and gutter grime. Song titles such as "the leaves have left us" and "the scratches on the window in the doors of each cell" reveal an affinity for sullen, desolate themes, and, upon further inspection, the participants, who fiddle with everything from piano to electric guitar and a barrage of field recordings, are identified by first name only. At this point the assumption seems safe, if not warranted: these lads have been deeply marked by the musings of Godspeed! You Black Emperor and the other flighty birds perched in their family tree.

To stop there, however, would be to do this music something of a disservice. This album, though it leans heavily upon minor-key harmonics, laggard tempos, and overtly woeful releases of tension, harbors some plaintive, stately piano melodies, and exhibits careful attention to background details — from the cluck and scruff of feet smacking against pavement, to the placement of contact microphones at different places in the room to pick up the bristling of a humidifier or the rustling of leaves — which create a tight, self-contained environment, thereby enveloping the listener in their dour disposition.

There is, for instance, something palpably unstable about the slightly out-of-tune piano lines that drunkenly stumble through "broken piano pt. 2." When the frantic screeching of a screwdriver begins flitting about as though of its own accord, images of lunatic asylums or dingy bars are conjured up with some detail. "...in a safe place...somewhere near your heart..." opens with someone plucking a few notes from a piano; a guitar soaked in reverb soon begins marching in step. The piece is somber and lonely, so much so that one feels one's buttons being pushed, but all this is nearly eclipsed when a rather violent squall of feedback charges authoritatively to the fore. The title track is also noteworthy for its patient build, as a squall of guitar feedback gradually overtakes a resigned piano motif, and slowly bleeds the listener's resistance dry.

by Max Schaefer

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