Known for his furious live shows, his battered electronics and his heartbroken, buried under vocals, Alex Zhang Hungtai makes some of the most forceful and emotive experimental works out there. His last record under the Dirty Beaches alias was the double record 'Drifters / Love Is The Devil', which showed two flips of his creative coin: on one side, he showed a krautish and brooding electronic approach to pop songs, while on the other he created ancient-sounding instrumental soundscapes. 'Stateless', his follow-up, continues to explore the instrumental side of Hungtai's work, conveying the sense of displacement felt while travelling between everywhere under the sun.
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Canadian musician Alex Zhang, aka Dirty Beaches, is back with a new instrumental LP and he’s come a long way since his 2011 breakthrough ‘Badlands’. Since then, his music has been more about the constant sense of dislocation and isolation, not more so than his sixth studio album ‘Stateless’.
His previous LPs have always captured the homesick listlessness of travelling and globe-trotting, particularly his electro-infused 2013 album ‘Drifters’ and its sonic counterpart ‘Love Is The Devil’, but with ‘Stateless’ the feeling of disorientation and disconnect from the world prevails. While ‘Love Is The Devil’ sounds like a series of snapshots of far-away locales, ‘Stateless’ sounds like its eerie, juxtaposed counterpart: imagine waking up and not knowing who-or where- you are.
The results are emotive and affecting, as Zhang continues to explore his more experimental tendencies with these brooding instrumental soundscapes. It would make a perfect soundtrack to a tragic road movie, as the protagonists alter their perspective of their everyday lives along the way.
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