Monday, January 19, 2004

disinterested - 'The Past is Never Far' (2003 - Skean Dhu)

My only qualm with the cd 'The Past is Never Far' by disinterested (a.k.a. Matthew Emerson Brown) is that, while the title aptly prepares you for the material inside, the band's name reflect an blasé attitude not apparent in the emotional feel of the album itself. But, hey, it's a great thing when that is the only problem.

Melancholy and tender, 'The Past is Never Far' reminds me of early Projekt Record's releases, with more concentration on guitar-instrumentation than lush synth textures. The tracks vary between spatial ambient work and songs whose wall-of-guitar sound borders on shoegazer. They are, for the most part, instrumental, laying the groundwork for more of a environment than a set of catchy tunes. That's not to say vocals do not pop up here and there, but their effects are much more subtle and, instead, contribute more to the texture of the song, rather than for the words themselves.

An excellent soundtrack to a rainy day, or gray Cleveland winter, as the case may be.


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Hungry Lucy - 'Glo' (2003 - Alpha Matrix)

If you were to ask someone to name the hometown of a sleek, trip-hop duo (really, any sleek trip-hop duo), chances are you'd get answers like: London, Birmingham and New York. Most likely, you would not get "Cincinnati", but that's exactly where Hungry Lucy hails from and their national success proves that the Midwest exports more than corn and grain.

'Glo', their most recent album was released in early 2003 as two-cd set. The first cd contains twelve expertly-crafted pop tracks. Each song constructed around Christa Belle's haunting and achingly tender voice. Between the tales of October nights and lonely rooms emerge smoky Rhodes riffs, reverb-laden synths, and trip-hop beats.

The second disc twists things in a new direction. Geared mainly for the dancefloor, this disc features remixes of material from disc one. The mixes comes from such darkwave and ebm luminaries as: Claire Voyant, Aiboforcen, bloodWIRE, ThouShaltNot, trigger10d, Chandeen and Neikka RPM .Though this might seem a bit excessive, I assure you, these remixes take the songs down such paths that it doesn't come across as repetitive at all.

This album has definitely found a permanent place in my cd player and is worth checking out for fans of trip-hop, pop, darkwave or just-plain-good music.