3 Burst Reviews
Slight twinge in my fingers indicates that I have been writing and reading too much. Tigers aren’t built for this kind of work, and I have had my arm in one of those carpal tunnel casts for a solid week. I have a demanding muse, which is a less obvious way of saying I want to fill everything with knowledge. Tigers have short lifespans, and I have already died and escaped it once. But with a cloudy sky and a government shut down, there seem to be fewer limits. All my human friends are busy studying out of obligation. It’s a good day for music and sound.
Mr. Harold Zo: Allow me to help!
Alexius: Shut up, Mr. Zo.
Mr. Harold Zo: (crestfallen)
Alexius: You…no, this is a family blog. Let me just say that you are a worm. Get what you’re about to do done with already.
Quivver: Harry! We’re getting ready to pack up!
Mr. Harold Zo: (swishes his rock and roll wizard cape) I will vanish as the night before the dawn.
Alexius: The sun has been up for hours, Count Dracula. Do you want to write something or not?
Mr. Harold Zo: Allow me to do a little burst of recommendation. Here are three albums your audience will love.
I appreciate that Field of Reeds evokes works with both field recordings and studio manipulation, growing and changing in a naturalistic way while bending sound into obscure shapes and spaces. Those looking for a blissful, composed 53 minutes of music could find few better than this among the summer releases.
Melt Yourself Down takes the opposite approach to Field of Reeds. Rather than tending space and slowly warping, the law here is constant, fiery reshaping. Rhythmic and incessantly visceral, it’s a layering of funk grooves, psychedelic production, and a jazzlike commitment to productively messing up. It’s a sharp command, not a request: melt down.
Legend has it that Spiro Agnew called the label to have this album’s promotional efforts shut down. Which is a shame, because Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse is a beautifully apocalyptic work in the full sense of that word. Far from specious end-times fortunetelling, this is music with an iron conviction and musical power endemic to that era’s funk. That being the case, it also offers an explicit rebuke to those who think that dancing alone can start the revolution. Not to criticize too much, Janelle Monáe, but I think he’s talking to you.
That’s all. I have to run for our first Canadian tour, so I will be in touch.
Alexius: Just one day of peace. That’s all I request.