26 August 2009

Andrew Bland - 2009 - Atypical Dimensions

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

As usual with this fellow, I should probably point out that this was my college roommate for several years, so I can't say that I'm completely unbiased here. That said, I haven't been in the same general vicinity as him for three years, so I feel able to approach this music with pretty fresh ears - and to those ears this is the best set he's come up with so far. Andrew's M.O. is to create hazy soundscapes with a variety of world and folk instruments alongside his guitars, drums, and an analog Korg. The liner notes suggest that these tracks are destined for a series of short experimental films, and they are mostly perfect for that venue.

Most of the tracks contain an early morning acid hangover sound that has cropped up in fringe music for the past forty years. While it's not quite destined for a David Lynch movie, it would fit in with those inspired by the eerie nightclub vibe of those films. My favorite track here is "Hurdy Gurdy," which comes across like a Brightblack Morning Light track, but is a touch brighter, which I think helps the vibe. I also dig the polyrhythmic percussion and dulcimers in "Sheet Lightning" and "Fuse." "Being in Time" is a fine rhythmic drone, although lacking in dulcimers. Almost everything here is pretty short, so if you do run across a tune that fails to tickle your ear, it's not a long wait for the next bit.

This is a fine album to lend your ear to if you're in the market for some hazy, homemade instrumental psychedelia. Andrew has a few new sound combinations to offer, and the experiments that don't quite succeed (for me the slightly spastic "Paper Lantern") still manage to remain intriguing. Here's his website if you have the urge to poke around: http://andrewbland.net/

Listen to Me:
Andrew Bland - 2009 - Atypical Dimensions

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