8/10 Mike Staff review, 15 June 2011
Here we have the debut LP from Oregon's Diamond Catalog. One of them was in Indignant Senility and Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting, if that means anything to you. It's pretty weird, kind of a noise/dance/dub hybrid of some kind, based around heavily processed dance beats, which have a muddy, washed out sound like there's a rave going on halfway down the street. It seems to me to almost be like a commentary on the decay of the modern way of life, with all these once-perfect structures eroded away until there's only a hint of their original form remaining. There's very little melody to speak of here, it's really mostly clatterings and groanings and rattlings, but there's enough rhythmic sophistication to save it from ever becoming just background noise. Towards the end of the first side there's some trebly swoops and things that sound less distant than everything else which gives an interesting effect when your mind has adjusted to everything sounding so muddied. The second side opens with a crescendo of clicks and microbeats which develop into a simultaneously heavy and brittle 4/4 groove which bleeds in and out before morphing into a more minimal almost techno-ish sound. It's like the music is trying to break through a rubber wall and you're on the other side just catching the imprints it leaves as it strains against it. It's hard to tell what's actually there and what's just been suggested to you. Later in the second side it all gets a bit nightmarish and much clearer. I think it sounds like the soundtrack to a horror film where you're stuck in the sewers being chased by loads of giant insects. Ant reckons it sounds like a more restrained Astral Social Club. Then the album closes with a two-note drone section with skittering beats beneath and otherworldly noises on top. A freaky sonic voyage into a post-urban hell.
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