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 V.19 No.31 | August 5 - 11, 2010 

Sonic Reducer

The Suite Unraveling "Music For Robots 1" (Handmaid Music)

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The latest incarnation of The Suite Unraveling—Lily Maase (guitar), Michael Kammers (sax), Greg Heffernan (cello), Alex Mallett (bass), Nico Dann (drums), with guest vocalist Sunny Kim—takes a prog-rock approach but rejects the genre’s tendency toward precious self-consciousness. Of course, the band plays Maase’s remarkable, fearless compositions, which are anything but precious or self-conscious. With an exceptional ear for timbral values, especially the sonic interplay between sax and cello, she orchestrates expressive textures alive with rhythmic impulse. Prog-rock it may be, but it rests on a strong jazz foundation and an unselfish approach from every participant. Turn it up. (MM)

Miracle Condition Miracle Condition (Tizona Records)

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Experimental, deconstructed rock is one way to describe this self-titled album by Chicago-based trio Miracle Condition. Slow, oozing melodies slide against heavily crashing drums. Tracks crawl toward crescendos, adding volume and layers, but often gently end without a real climax. In true spacegaze form, two distorted guitars carry the songs while blankets of lovely sounds created by harmoniums and effects pedals pad the atmosphere. The vocals, when present, have more prominence than is typical for the genre, but the album is mostly pleasing waves of instruments and noise. It’s perfect for relaxing on the couch, letting your imagination free-associate. (SO)

La Bestia Rosa "Manera Nueva" (self-released)

This album was discreetly slipped to me at a Downtown coffee shop with the assurance that it would only sound good under the influence of drugs. It stands to reason, as La Bestia Rosa’s five-song EP is a voyage to a universe of breaking glass, train whistles, interstellar bleeps, howling wind, barking dogs, mewling cats and a hundred other sounds merging in a beautiful, psychedelic cacophony. Responsible for “Manera Nueva” are locals Scott Meyers and Ben Adams with guest appearances by Ken Cornell, “Dirty Ernie Novel” and Jason Fitzgerald. Good luck finding a copy. (JCC)

(MM) Mel Minter, (SO) Summer Olsson, (JCC) Jessica Cassyle Carr
 
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