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neumu
Saturday, September 20, 2014 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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Björk
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Vespertine
One Little Indian
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Long before Thom Yorke bought the Skam back catalogue, everyone's favorite wide-eyed elfin pop princess was making like a mad professor of construction (importantly, neither de- or re-), engineering sublime, popular pop-songs underpinned by abstract electro workings, oft aided by the brill Mark Bell. Four years on from the crunch-and-thunk wasteland — equal parts retrofuturist industrial squalor and sweeping glacial copter-shots — of Homogenic, the e'er-charismatic Björk returns with Vespertine, a long-awaited longplayer that follows an extended interlude of video-clip opulence, painfully guttural method/madness-"acting," and one mid-length film-related soundtrack. Working largely with American sampledelic darlings Matmos, here Björk continues to mine the fine line of minimalist lushness that her last album gave birth to; with tiny, crackling, skittery beats weaving open-toned ambient beds in which her breathy, pushed-forward vocals lithely lay, the closeness and drama of her every syllable commanding attention (even as vocals are often multi-tracked into armies of Björks, cooing and sighing from different sides, like seductive devils and sweethearted angels in each ear). Subtle colorings of pastel keyboards are often mixed in, and, over such exercises in quietude, out come the sumptuous big guns, with Björk's more commanding register, an orchestra, and a full choir all on hand to lift the songs up to the kind of hymnal, choral levels perpetrated by popular Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós. However, that's not to say that such a combo's symphonic rock has had any direct influence on Björk — I mean, come on, that's Metallica's trick — but when "Hidden Place" finds the grim, grimy beat-tracks and spat-out-vocal'd verses washed over by an opera-house-sized support crew, comparisons to such grandiose workers are inevitable. Such said, the album makes a more impressive claim to genius status on its more minimal moments. The enveloping claustrophobia of the hush'd weaves and the frailest wails of strung-out singing make for quiet reverie, divination in small gestures that resonate with grandness, amplified in the environment like shadows distorted upwards by low-light. The inconsistent intricacies of "Undo" and "Cocoon" wrap the listener in a blanket spun from so much sonic silk, with even the idlest thoughts turned to idyll dreaming.


by Anthony Carew




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