Sonic Reducer: Micro Album Reviews

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This freak-out side project from two acts that already have too many records sounds great in a solid Tyrannosaurus-Rex-meets-Blue-Cheer way. The production is amazing and these textbook garage-psych songs really move along in front of the stoned backbeat. There’s a George Harrison vibe to some of the guitar leads ( Revolver and All Things Must Pass George Harrison!) and much of the album ranks with Segal’s Melted on the heaviness scale. Hair begs to be played ear-bleedingly loud. With only eight songs—all of which time out before self-indulgence kicks in at five minutes—the only complaint I have is that it’s too short. These two have put together a live band as well, which will not be visiting Albuquerque. (Geoffrey Plant)

Lilacs & Champagne Lilacs & Champagne (Mexican Summer)

Made up of half of Grails (Emil Amos and Alex Hall), this duo creates largely instrumental hauntological hip-hop for obscurist pop culture obsessives and psychedelia lovers. And it certainly doesn’t hurt if you’re a fan of British TV and B movies. Lilacs & Champagne’s recipe for preternatural grooves involves new recordings and samples culled from countless hours of crate-digging. Material ranges from sermons to insect sounds to library music. Old and new are stacked together and deftly manipulated until lines of demarcation between original and appropriated disappear within clasped headphones. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)

Black Marble ÒWeight Against the DoorÓ (Hardly Art)

Black Marble’s dark, minimalist synthwave faithfully echoes Factory Records favorites of yore without sounding like a stale imitation. Shadowy rhythms, distant vocals and brooding arpeggiation coalesce on the Brooklyn-based duo’s introductory EP. Released by Hardly Art as a 12-inch vinyl valentine, it’s a five-song love letter to goth, cold wave and post-punk kids of all-ages. Standout tracks include the dance-floor-worthy opener “Pretender” and moody synth vehicle “Backwards.” When Ty Kube and Chris Stewart press “record,” Ian Curtis spasms in his grave—in the best kind of way. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)

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