Drifters / Love Is The Devil by Dirty Beaches was available on Vinyl Double LP & CD but is now sold out on all formats, sorry.
Vinyl Double LP £28.99 ZM015
2LP on Zoo Music.
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- Drifters / Love Is The Devil by Dirty Beaches
Dirty Beaches, aka Alex Zhung Hungtai, has been peddling his own peculiarly murky brand of outsider analogue driftpop and reverb-drenched Suicidey paranoia for a few years now, reappropriating minimal analogue and rock’n’roll traditions into weird passages of blurred lo-fi nostalgia and intangible meditative darkness. Now on this sprawling double album he drops much of his crackling lo-fi guitar textures in favour of a more analogue synth-focused collection.
The first LP ‘Drifters’ is full of largely beat-driven material, often with Hungtai’s Alan Vega-ish mumblings very much in the fore over a pulsating analogue synth backing. I see that half the songs on this LP were made with Shubhayan Roy and Bernardino Femminielli, his live backing band, so in general it’s a much more propulsive set with a slight industrial pop murk which brings to mind The KVB. In contrast, ‘Love Is The Devil’ is beatless and mostly instrumental, focusing on hypnotic arpeggios, wistful piano melodies and gliding synth drones, as well as bits of meditative solo guitar like the contemplative ‘Alone At The Danube River’ (whose chiming but muddy guitar tone is strangely reminiscent of an early Battles EP track I can’t put my finger on). My personal highlight of this album is the emotional ‘I don’t Know How To Find My Way Back To You’, with synth strings and choirs conjuring a lonesome and emotional melody which is really resonating with me.
It’s an epic double set, certainly the most ambitious work he’s done to date, but to my ears it’s also the most complete, with two distinct halves which both flow together in a pleasing and intuitive way, with so much material included that it’ll take you weeks to absorb the whole thing. Very impressive indeed.
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