Monday, February 16, 2009

Dirty Beaches – Horror LP

There is a peculiar strain of haunted electronics popping up lately that seem bent on exorcising the ghosts from the machines. Its proponents owe a debt to the deteriorating ambience of William Basinski and the abandoned industrial soundscapes of David Lynch. Artists like V/VM’s James Kirby (recording as The Caretaker) and the Opalio brother of Italy and their My Cat is an Alien project reach into the decaying guts of sound’s mechanisms. Montreal’s Alex Zhang Hungtai joins their ranks with his Dirty Beaches project. Like MCIAA he follows a strict code of single takes, but builds corroded layers of musical elements. Unlike the Opalios he uses guitars, harmonica, drums and other actual instruments alongside his less identifiable noises and found sounds. While Horror’s brief scenes strike a consistent mood (closer to lassitude than actual horror) it feels like they need more bone and less of the pulverized meat that fell from it.

Fixture Records

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