Friday, July 23, 2010

Hell Ohno Never

Poor ol' Oneohtrix Point Never... I'm always stacking the deck against him. First with my multi-part companion tour of his Rifts and the 6xLP/3xCD Leyland Kirby set Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was.

Porcelain Opera
And now his latest draws comparisons to another recent album that I'm suddenly really excited about: Rene Hell's Porcelain Opera (2010).

Rene Hell - Porcelain Opera

Like I mentioned about The Books album and Temporary Residence Ltd., Type is a record label that I generally trust. So when I was ordering up some international Boomkat, they had this album - vinyl came with a ltd. bonus cd. At first, I was fairly cool to the whole thing... Then, after a few more spins, I started getting into it a bit more. Finally, I put it on when walking around the neighborhood, and wow. It is a headphone trip!

So over a few weeks, I went from "O well" to being really happy that I took a flyer. The sound palette is really diverse, and the production is mostly super-dense. The music's definitely abstract, but the occasional voices come back and sort of ground it - only to take off again. It just sounds very good to me. Now I'm going back to give the bonus cd Rogue Camera some more attention. Not sure anyone's going to top Emeralds in the 2010 synth-kraut-drone sweepstakes, but I think this one's getting overlooked in the analogue-psych-resurgence discussion. (Also, individual tracks are up on YouTube. Don't believe the free .mp3 hype!)

"Returnal" from Returnal (2010)

So, yeah. I do like Oneohtrix - cool stuff overall. About half of it great! Returnal was released by the same label as the Emeralds 2xLP (Belgium's Editions Mego), and it's got some fine stuff on there. But like Rifts, too much just doesn't move me enough to bestow the highest praise. And this one adds some noise action that I definitely don't really need (the opening track?!).

The sweet title track will be covered by Antony (of the Johnsons) on an upcoming 7" release, the single's B-side is a remix by Fennesz, with artwork by Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))). As Pitchfork says, 'That's a lot of out-music big dogs on one 7"!'

"Pelham Island Road" from Returnal (2010)

See? That's real nice. Awhile back, I also got the re-release of OPN's Young Beidnahga (2009 CDr). That's the one with this atypical track:

"I Know Its Taking Pictures from Another Plane (Inside Your Sun)"

Other than the title track, the opener is 13 minutes of "Continuous Smooth Jazz Trepanation" - which is nothing like how it sounds. Or maybe it is... Anyway, it's out there. Glitchy, kinda noisy, but also strangely jam-my - with a recurring (and sometimes spastic) flute-like melody.

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