REVIEWS

STARAYA DEREVNYA – FROM INSIDE THE LOG (HNUI, 2010)

The steam and clang of old-time industry haunts UK/Israli-based Staraya Derevnya’s latest album. With rhythms plodding forth like an ogre pulling a plow through the mud, metallic percussive textures, and chanting lyrics, Tom Waits and his similarly greasy, low-down and hulking paces instantly comes to mind. But Staraya Derevnya take things a bit further toward sculpting their …

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FOX HANDS – PEOPLENOSWAN (GOLD ROBOT / ROYAL RHINO FLYING RECORDS, 2010)

Post-Animal Collective. Sheesh. Who would of thought? Are these guys really the watermark in which we measure bands in the earliest carbon rings of the 21st century? Whatever side of the debate you are on, it is difficult not to notice their contributions to the soundscape of the past few years. A cursory listen to Fox Hands has all …

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LIAM SINGER – DISLOCATIA (HIDDEN SHOAL, 2010)

Liam Singer, the Brooklyn-via-Portland multi-instrumentalist/composer, has covered some immense ground since his 2003 debut album The Empty Heart of My Chameleon through this year’s Dislocatia. While most third albums find artists burrowing into an established sound or simply feeling out an established ritual, Singer’s third full length completely explodes his prior minimalist setup and explores huge, swelling climes …

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HOW TO DRESS WELL – LOVE REMAINS (LEFSE, 2010)

Tom Krell’s haunting mix of early-mid nineties FM R&B, eerie vocal loops, buried instruments and totally in-the-red no-fi aesthetic is easily one of the most anticipated full lengths this year. The Brooklyn-to-Cologne export (to study post-Kantian philosophy mind you) has managed to create something that is as catchy as it is unsettling. Beautiful as it …

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CANDY CLAWS – HIDDEN LANDS (TWO SYLLABLE RECORDS, 2010)

There are some things you should know about Hidden Lands. Small, chewable bits of cursory information about the process in which this album was written and recorded. Oulipo-like self-made limitations, an ingenious self-sampling technique and a concept driven album whose source material is a novel about forests. I promise I will get to all of that. But …

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HOBO CUBES – HYPNOTIC INFINITUM (PATENTE, 2010)

It’s amazing how engaging the music of Montreal’s Hobo Cubes can be with so few discernible hooks (I’m talking beats, melodies, harmonies—real traditional elements of musical substance), especially since it’s not totally ambient, and not really noise. But mastermind Francesco de Gallo reveals something uniquely musical here anyway, rooting his compositions in simple chromaticism and letting the …

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