Full of dramatic pause and airy breadth, the latest from BLK w/BEAR (J.S. Adams and co.) is MO RE B ROKEN TH AN Y OU delivered on CD and Digital via LCR. Sweet harmonies, broken voices and found sounds are split up into a dozen tracks here. The first three tracks set up a smooth mood that is peculiar and undefined until Visitations, where a distorted tension enters. Suddenly things become adrift, as if in and out of a languid dream state. The packaging offers a bit of a peephole into this world, done in a letterpress graphic style, almost Bauhausian, expertly designed by K. Craig. This is up for pre-order, but officially released tomorrow.
Pensive, The Slight Nihilist lends its funny title to this almost Fairlight-sounding synth-laced track that slowly bleeds into the forlorn and lengthy titled Sloth Extraction 11_Fiery Debris from the Exploding [FHU 700] Rained Down on the Refinery Grounds + Nearby Residential Areas. The sedate keys and rugged (yet removed) drone are so deeply introspective that I feel like I am listening in on someone’s personal life without permission. There are sad strings incorporated here, much seems like a collated lot — bits and pieces of memories brought together. I’m fascinated by the sincerity of Our Balconies_Weighed Down With Satellite Dishes, it’s slow-paced like a scene in a classic thriller, with a dark edge, but just enough light to move forward this time. The title implies a sort of loss of innocence in the post-industrial digital age we endure daily.
The ruddy motor first heard on Miss Management (sounds like a fantastic drag name), leads to the upheaval of heavy metal (not the genre), in a buzz of clumpy, agitated drone. Here and there you experience stripped chords, blow-out deep barrel percussion and the sweet whine of strings (Red Labour). Fertile in its emotive qualities, MO RE B ROKEN TH AN Y OU has a bone to pick, no, I mean quite literally this seems to imply forms of aging in an era where air-brushing can only temporarily coat the top surface as the body shifts and changes over time. Our bodies are like maps that experience urban redevelopment and gentrification – it accepts/rejects the ways and means of self. The cafe vibe of Allan Kaprow speaks of flux(us), in the breakdown of context and direct conversation, which evades the social network somehow. The cold hard anonymity of it all! In the startling conclusion of the live track Honour Code_To Neither Lie Cheat nor Steal a mythical melody arises like a swift wind before a thunderstorm. It’s a gorgeous penetrating track, almost has a mid-eastern cadence, silky and buoyant. You could easily get lost in this record, there’s so much ambient variance at every corner.