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neumu
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 
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44.1kHz = music reviews

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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



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Boy Omega
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The Black Tango
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Bedroom pop records are a dime a dozen these days. Those hopeless guys who used to sit around at parties strumming acoustic guitars and making eyes at the popular girls (who were all off in corners with jocks) are making CDs at an alarming rate. Still, for every 100 folk-altered, electronically-enhanced songwriter CDs, there's going to be at least a couple of good ones. Martin Gustafsson, a Swede who grew up listening to Kiss, has made one of these, achieving something like Elliott Smith's critical balance between bile and sincerity, melody and experimentation. His first line, "Give me peace or give me a piece of ass," out of "Blocks," lets you know that while Gustafsson is going to sing about frustrated love, just as roughly 600 songwriters will this week, he's going to do it with a level of skill and self-awareness that just might rescue it from sameness.

The disc is culled from some 200 recordings made since Gustafsson's last album, and he selects and orders its cuts with careful skill. Although these songs are clearly one man's work, they are augmented, most of the time, with diverse sounds — not just guitar, piano and voice, but also cello, violins, saxophone, and field recordings. The three "Black Tango" songs are perhaps the most experimental element of this varied disc, short, sample-ridden intervals of strings, glockenspiel, computer tones and breath. They, along with brief, wonderfully pretty piano excursions ("Open the Door, Grigori" and "Rescue Me, Pianohead"), provide a frame for the more structured songs, allowing them to emerge in raspy, lo-fi glory from the soundscape.

"Flash in the Tunnel" is one of the best of the songs, very Elliott Smith-ish in its whispery vocals, anchored by pounding drums and lavished with real and electronically generated string tones. "My Midnight We'll Give It a Go" is built on more conventional acoustic strumming, yet it lifts off this structure with soaring, almost falsetto vocals. And "Explode," with its delicate picked guitars alternating with blasts of fuzz-toned feedback, contains some of the disc's best lyrics. Here Gustafsson slips images of sharks and mermaids into its lament for a broken love, singing in a fluttery, desperate tone that might remind you, a little, of Holopaw. "Leafless" gains intensity from Emelie Moline's swooping cello and delicate voice, an island of uneasy melody before the abrasive bass and drum machines of "The Claw."

The disc closes with an achingly pretty "Nobody's Fault," a lush mesh of strings and voice that follows the same chord progression as Pachelbel's Canon. "It's nobody's fault/ That we're not riding wheels of joy/ Our walls will break/ And the silence will break/ Just like a sharp razorblade," sings Gustafsson, balancing naked sincerity and orchestral ambition for a tricky moment, then subsiding into silence.


by Jennifer Kelly




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