Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Doug Paisley - Starter Home Music Album Review

Gracefully navigating the intersection of folk-rock and country, the gentle-voiced songwriter turns detailed images of domestic tranquility and promise into reflections on disappointment.
For a decade, Canadian singer/songwriter Doug Paisley has turned quiet, specific moments into inquiries on life’s larger struggles. On his 2010 breakthrough, Constant Companion, Paisley used the inevitability of endings to explore understanding oneself, the only possible “constant companion.” For 2014’s Strong Feelings, he mulled death and its uneasy relationship with life, or how their juxtaposition ripples into every wave of existence. And now, on his fourth album, Starter Home, Paisley details the chasm that separates what poet Seamus Heaney described as “getting started” and “getting started again.” These songs examine how the person you are never truly aligns with the person you want to be, especially when you stumble upon a sticking point that’s hard to move past.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Ana da/SilvaPhew - Island Music Album Reviews


A collaboration between the Japanese electronic artist and the Raincoats founding member lands at the natural middle of each musician's sensibilities.

When Phew and Ana da Silva speak to each other on their collaborative record Island, their words have to pierce a thick fog before they can reach their intended recipient. The synthesized drones and stray noises that curl around each woman’s voice threaten to submerge them entirely, and so when the two artists speak, or sing, or speak-sing to each other in the other’s native language—Phew in da Silva’s Portuguese, da Silva in Phew’s Japanese—their words fly like detached missives from a sanctuary under siege. Their communication here does not unfurl as easy conversation (even though one of the songs is titled “Conversation”), but shudders out in fits and starts: a corrupted distress signal. Island is an unsteady record, less interested in closing the gap between its two participants than it is in exploring that gap for all its nooks and crannies. It seeks the productive friction that can sometimes emerge from misunderstanding, alienation, and confusion—the learning and healing that can result from losing one’s bearings.

Since playing in punk bands in the late 1970s and early ’80s (da Silva in the Raincoats, Phew in Aunt Sally), both artists have seized upon the voice as an instrument of provocation. Punk, after all, was mostly about the cynical passion the voice can rouse when compressed into a sneer. But neither the Raincoats nor Aunt Sally settled into the mold set by Ramones or the Sex Pistols, even if they were inspired by them. Teetering on the edge of punk and post-punk, the Raincoats embodied more color and flair than the most famous acts of either adjacent genre, while Aunt Sally folded psychedelic and experimental textures into a freewheeling punk mode. For both bands, punk was a starting point, not an end in itself—the ethos of irreverence mattered more than—and outlasted—a commitment to power chords and yelps. The solo records Phew and da Silva have released in this millennium let their curiosity roam even further from their more structured origins, and Island lands at the natural middle of each musician's sensibilities. Da Silva’s needling percussion and wiry melodies spur on Phew’s voice-curdling miasma. It’s a good fit.

Island’s strongest, climactic track “The fear song” begins with a whisper and a trace of voice that sounds like it’s sampled from someone’s answering machine. A drone buoys the two voices, and then the voices evolve to take the place of more typical instrumentation. The beat feels as if it derives from a clipped syllable, a stutter excised from its context; the percussive effect comes not just from the “k” sound at the start of the fragment, but from the hard line left by its removal. As the drone swells, Phew and da Silva raise the volume of their voices to rise above it. They sing few notes; it’s not the complexity of their melodies that makes their performances compelling, but the striving quality of their delivery, the searching, reaching urgency to their wails. The beat picks up, and both women hasten their words to match it, repeating the same phrase to each other. It sounds as if they were running to each other in pitch darkness, navigating only by the sounds of their voices and their echoes.

Many of the vocal tracks on Island follow a similar structure: A whisper grows into a bellow as the instrumental environment starts closing in. At times, like on “Konichiwa!,” cracks appear in the record’s overall malaise. As a voice—an original recording or maybe a cut-up sample from a Japanese language training program, it’s hard to tell—repeats the title, a low synthesizer uncoils a sour melody. A drum machine beat stutters and sways. But, in patches, the melody sweetens, brightens up, cuts through the haze. The album’s closer, “Dark but bright,” enjoys a similar joviality in its melodic development, the kind of semi-comic synthesizer ornamentation that populated da Silva’s 2005 solo album The Lighthouse. “Dark but bright” even samples birdsong, as if the world inside Island were finally allowing the sun to rise. In these moments, Phew and da Silva sound less like they’re searching for each other and scrabbling for common ground. It’s like the air has cleared, and in the new light, the two musicians can finally greet each other.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Moto Z4 Play Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We investigate rumours surrounding the Moto Z4 Play, which could be announced in June 2019 with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Announced in June 2018, the Moto Z3 Play was never joined in the UK by the standard Moto Z3. It's possible that for the Z4 series we will again see only the Play model go on sale here, with the Moto Z4 Play expected to be announced in the UK in mid-2019.

Dell XPS 13 (2019) vs Dell XPS 13 (2018)

Can Dell make its XPS 13 laptop any better? Well it's tried with a new 2019 model so we compare the two and explain what has and hasn't changed.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) Or Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
There’s a new XPS 13 in town but you’ll struggle to justify the upgrade from 2018’s model with namely a new webcam as a headline upgrade.
Sure, there are other upgrades to the the core specs but for most people, these will be fairly insignificant. The inclusion of a cheaper Core i3 model is particularly interesting.

2019 Lincoln Continental Review

If you’re tired of the same old luxury options, the 2019 Lincoln Continental provides a refreshingly retro-cool alternative.
The 2019 Lincoln Continental is a big, luxurious American sedan at a time when Americans are hardly buying big, luxurious American sedans anymore. Regardless, it’s a throwback ride with plenty of character, great value, lots of power, and a classic nameplate. We give it 7.5 out of 10 overall.
Among European and Japanese rivals with established models – S-Class, 7 Series, LS – this Lincoln stands out for several reasons, chief among them its nameplate. With the Continental, Lincoln has one of the most storied American car names.

Like Fan Page