Thursday, 21 June 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #231 - Lower Dens, "Nootropics"

I remember I liked "Twin-Hand Movement" in the 2010; those were the days. Although to be honest, I don't remember exactly WHY I liked it. So here I am with "Nootropics".

The drum kit's been pushed forward in the mix. I like that, gives things a clipped and urgent feel. All snare and hi-hats. "Brains" has a pulse somewhere between The Strokes and some kosmische rock outfit - someone leans a couple of fingers on a keyboard, a lone slappy, metallic bass sees out the track in style and into "Stem", a uptight yet jolly piece of instrumentalism.

"Candy" has a touch of the Eurobleak about it, like Editors or Interpol or somesuch. Stationary trains at Stalinist railway stations. Snow on moddy-looking statues. You have the picture, yes? It sounds like a sketchy version of Layla turned inside out with the mournful guitar thrown into relief with a steady bass counterpart.  "Propagation" is also a bit ponderous, but I find myself following it. I'll bet it's the synths; I always indulge synths. "Lamb" also makes some interesting shapes in the snow.

Electrosynthscapes again in "Lion in Winter" parts one and two. I don't really know the play. But judging by the music it's about a lion that spends the winter prodding keyboards for their awesome sounds and staring out the window and hitting some cymbals at the end. "Nova Anthem" sounds like a distended Kraftwerk piece used to build an inspirational nation of slight narcotic wooziness and warm alienation. Something inaudible is "in flames", and what else does a nation need but burning stuff? An anthem for a country with a great many pink-tinged clouds.

"In the End is the Beginning" is in no hurry to make its point and then underline it with more of the same. I keep thinking of animals, artificial animals like the kind I used to read were being created on the internet to see how they evolved. Or perhaps that didn't really happen. Or perhaps we are what happened? (Too much hotel will cause ontological creeps.) I think though it's about a painful and drawn-out death, judging by the lyrical references to failing hair and teeth, our virility indicators. The track sounds inevitable and it's over twelve minutes.

I'm assuming it's tropics as in parts of the brain and not as in the Caribbean.

Rating: Intermittent Transmission out of Distant Places

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