I apologise. I’ve been holding out on you for the longest time about some of the greatest music I’ve heard in my lifetime. I almost feel as if there should be nothing else said about Oceansize, and their seminally beautiful song, “The Frame”, because that would sully the purpose of sharing songs we love. I am not the picture, now I am the frame.. – brian.
mp3: oceansize – the frame
Oceansize have just recently released their live DVD box set and new EP, Home And Minor. More info at oceansize.co.uk
1994 appears to be a milestone in the birth of post-rock, with the term coined by simon reynolds in his review of bark psychosis’ hex. that same year would see the release of tortoise’s debut self-titled album, arguably the launching pad for the band and its like-minded thrill jockey label mates in the development of that experimental post-rock sound. today, post-rock has become a term that’s become all too ubiquitous, and too often used as a convenient label for any instrumental rock music that employs that familiar loud-soft formula, whether guitar-effects based or electronically driven. singapore-based amberhaze, the solo project of giuliano gullotti, references these roots with little hesitation, yet creates music that’s surprisingly free from the expected confines of the genre. in the concisely titled “1994”, gullotti carves out a post-rock epic of sweeping atmospherics, explosive percussion and electronic suspense that engages both heart and mind, a resilient strategy that manages to stay fresh in 2009. – dan.
mp3: amberhaze – 1994
amberhaze’s latest album then we saw the stars again is out now on kittywu records. you may purchase the album directly from the band website, where gullotti writes an awesome feature series on the post-rock lover’s guide to classical music. highly recommended reading and listening!
it’s always a joy witnessing the birth of a new band, and even more so when it makes a confident, swaggering entrance. with a debut ep adventurously titled exploring unknown territory, singapore band lunar node displays an exuberant eagerness to make its mark. on first listen, the musical palette of choice doesn’t quite seem to head for the outer limits, with the band nestled firmly in the post-rock sounds of established stalwarts mogwai and explosions in the sky. however, while their undeniable influences are known for mastering the art of slow build-ups and cascading releases, lunar node opts instead for a crisper, urgent treatment, with traditionally expected executions of instrumental ebbs and flows replaced instead with a joyously celebrated schizophrenia. opener “cerveceria”, for example, begins at breakneck speeds, only to take a breather surprisingly early before stepping on the pedal again for a rousing finale. it sets the tone for the rest of the ep, with heavier portions attacked relentlessly and quieter moments savored. in the aptly titled “narcolepsy”, one is brought through a disorienting oscillation between moments of restful slumber and fitful insomnia, a brutal experience pleasing in the most discomforting way.
mp3: lunar node – narcolepsy
exploring unknown territory will be launched at the arts house playden at 8pm this saturday, 7 february. tickets cost S$15 inclusive of the ep, and are available at the arts house or by contacting the band directly.
while post-rock has been most noted for its post-shoegaze turn in recent times, with the proliferation of lengthy noise rock bands from mogwai to explosions in the sky and of course the mighty gy!be, the early paths trodden by pioneers like tortoise remain somewhat deserted in comparison. to be fair, there is more to the bands in the former category than full mastery of the loud/soft formula, but honestly it’s the experimentation of the latter that remains closer to the edge of that fringe, where the meaning of rock itself is questioned at its crossroads with jazz and other genres. that’s perhaps the briefest possible context for listening to tortoise’s thrill jockey label-mates, pit er pat, the three-piece band that also hails from chicago. in “evacuation days”, the pre-apocalyptic urgency of the title sees the band pursuing a direction in between the forward-thinking aesthetic of tortoise and the otherworldly mysticism of the fiery furnaces, yet another thrill jockey-er. the result is a dark, brooding track that takes its time to explore new grounds in that direction, and like the studio work of tortoise, leaves you curious and thirsting for a live interpretation.
mp3: pit er pat – evacuation days
pit er pat’s new album high time will be out tomorrow on (you guessed it) thrill jockey.