Art of The Memory Palace is a duo who have been putting their heads down to some serious jamming, analogue style. They revisited the recordings and, over time, built up the nine tracks of This Life is But A Passing Dream, which delve into all manner of pulsing-electronic-drone-synth valleys. Tape release on Static Caravan.
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- This Life is But A Passing Dream by Art of The Memory Palace
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How slick are these folks? Awkward quasi-transcendental band name aside, they probably jammed out this kraut-synth rockfest while preparing sandwiches for tomorrow’s jam session. Art of the Memory Palace come self-described as navigators of “synthesizer oscillation”, but I think that implies an unfair lack of control; this group designate every move their synths take, making repetitive strains of sound beholden to their seamless disciplined schedule. Take “The Ghost of Benno Ohnesong”: it ripples into place with strands of ambience and an embryonic synth line, but the band don’t let their landscape get comfortable, slicing into it with a tectonic bassline and a sparkly redefinition of their electronic instruments.
‘This Place is But a Passing Dream’ swaps between ambient paradises and rhythmic journeying quite splendidly, offering space to stretch out before tethering themselves. At points they walk eyes-closed into dissonant storms, but come out the other end with tunes with slapdash funk and a cosmic take on ‘80s schmaltz. It’s thrilling to hear where and when Art of the Memory Place have been influenced, considering how mysterious their music sounds. This came from Scotland, but you’ve gotta look at the bigger picture: it came from space.
Invoking the Flaming Lips if Wayne Coyne led a church choir instead of merry psychedelic fools, the best song on this record offers a vocal chant, backed by steadfast synth ambience a la Kyle Bobby Dunn and birds chirping triumphantly. The band eventually reach a frenzied chord sequence that sees post-rock go sci-fi western. Epic, but they could showdown in their sleep, couldn't they?
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