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Distant Correspondent Shatter/ Badlands
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 20 September 2013
The press blurb explains the way in this record was made; by several people in different parts of the world communicating over the internet. One of them is Edith Frost (Drag City) and another is a lady from Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia. David Obuchowski put the thing together and did the admin. The first track is pretty sweet dream pop which I’d say was a bit like Cocteau Twins, if anyone could sound like Cocteau Twins but no-one does, maybe late Cocteaus when they went a bit Cocteaus-lite. I’m not completely sure about the spoken word bit, anyone who read my anti-spoken word rant last week will know I’m just not all that keen on spoken word. Its a shame because the rest of it is pretty nice.
On the flip is a song called ‘Badlands’ which isn’t the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. Instead it's dark ambient glistening dream pop which would have perfectly fitted into the mid '80s 4AD aesthetic. After I thought I had it pinned the song surprises me when it gets going with a quite unexpected melodic trade-off between the two vocals in the middle section of the song which is really unusual but great. There are some really good ideas here on both tracks but in each case the bit I like doesn’t go on long enough. Possibly due to the makers concocting the thing on computer, chopping bits in and out. But at least there are interesting ideas, and plenty of them.
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