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neumu
Thursday, July 20, 2017 
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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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The White Birch
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Come Up For Air
Rune Grammophon
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The music emanating from this Norwegian trio is a strange seducer. Well-spaced keyboard tones ebb into the undulating cosmic backdrop of warm melodic synths and wheezing horns, but despite the clarity of this lush, harmonious atmosphere, Come Up for Air are strangely evasive, and always seem to be retreating into the distance.

Coupled with the inviting, downright pretty arrangements, this mysterious element allows the group to pique listeners' interest while also keeping them at a distance. As a result, even after numerous songs unfold, certain aspects of the sound remain undecided, an absence of completion that lets Ola Fløttum, Hans Christian, and Ulf Rogde take slight detours, an opportunity they put to good use on several occasions. Sometimes the ramshackle drum patterns, previously prominent, drop out entirely, while other times the resonating peal of withdrawn guitar melodies gives onto downbeat rhythms that propel the track headfirst into a web of star-crossed analog synths and soaring keyboard figures.

"Stand Over Me" possesses a relaxed fluidity. The piece begins simply, with a sparse keyboard motif pattering alongside gently pulsating layers of noise. Fløttum's steamy baritone voice emerges patiently, weaving itself into the song's many threads, which dangle breezily for minutes on end. Although he's joined now and again by Susanna Wallumrod (from Susanna and the Magical Orchestra), Fløttum's voice is often placed high in the mix. Being as affecting and flexible as it is — he effortlessly shifts from reflective murmurs to an angelic falsetto on many an occasion — his voice might nevertheless have been used more sparingly so as to let the other instruments assume more well-rounded characters.

Elsewhere, songs similarly find a fragile stasis, bringing to mind images of people standing still in a snowy silence. Much of the work is indeed mellow and ponderous, yet it is also peppered with enough urgency and upbeat momentum to keep the album from becoming altogether detached. "We Are Not the Ones" merges both of these styles, with vaporous trails of ambience buoyed by bubbling, oscillating electronic pads that are as playful as they are serene.

During these moments, the production of Helge Sten (of Deathprod and Supersilent fame) seems noticeable, as his hand ensures that there is no individuality in these songs. Instead, each alteration sends so many reverberations surging back into the heart of the track that each of the layers reflects and accentuates this recent movement.

Without further ado, the album ends on a song that has nothing final about it; it reads like just another track, one that should give onto something else. Were it otherwise, though, this album, essentially a pop album with a rather weak pulse, would very likely suffocate under a welter of well-worn signs. It is interesting to note, then, that this disappearing act is what allows the band to carry this traditional form into more fertile ground.


by Max Schaefer




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