Thursday, December 29, 2011

Two of the more PROgressive things I heard this year.

Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact

Remember that scene in Party Monster where Natasha Lyonne grinds up various pharmaceuticals in her 'drug salad?' Eye Contact is a lot like that. It's drug-induced melodies sound bizarrely alien and futuristic. Mellifluous chanting over textures and textures of some of the most pristine synthetic sounds you will ever hear. The opening track, "Glass Jar," is over 11 minutes in length and it's meanderings are fluid like ripples of water. This is not the type of album where the creators sat down armed with influences like many 21st century releases, but rather one where you get the impression that they made this from scratch, with only human creativity and mind expanding substances for inspiration. A very remarkable album.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica

Daniel Lopatin's Replica is a psychedelic ambient album and to be frank, it sounds like what I would imagine music sounds like a century from now. This is a truly progressive work, and it's obvious why I saw it on so many people's year end lists. All coherency is abandoned, preconceptions of structure and timing disregarded. Replica's composition is unpredictable from moment to moment, but it is far from 'random' - you get the idea that complex concepts are behind every transition, every loop, every alternation from harmony to dissonance, and it's all composed together in a cleverly woven tessellation of tonal adjustments and noise. It is in its very unpredictable nature that it's intensity arises. It is no doubt a beautiful set of music. However, it's beauty is a strange and dark one, like the radiation afterglow lingering in the atmosphere after an atomic explosion, the dichotomy of beauty and death. Much like The KLF's Chill Out, or Loveless, this is an album, not a collection of individual songs. Also contains my favorite cover art of the year.

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