Greg Saunier, one of the main movers in Deerhoof, has been working with contemporary group s t a r g a z e to turn a number of his band’s songs into an instrumental chamber piece. He’s got great skills, so Deerhoof Chamber Variations turns out wonderfully; totally new but also enticing for Deerhoof fans. 12” on Transgressive.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 02 December 2015
At first I was like, who in their right mind would organise Deerhoof’s songs into orchestral arrangements, and for what purpose, and why, and what exactly is the deal with this? But then I realised: it’s Deerhoof. Suitably, the person behind the arrangements is one of the people from Deerhoof, also known by his own name, Greg Saunier. Here, he comes together with modern-day classicists Stargaze to make his band’s songs… less weird? Differently weird? Suitable for a Wes Andersen movie?
Deerhoof’s records generally comprise of fantastical punk vignettes that feel both intertwined and totally separate, so it’s suitable that listening to this chamber collection feels like hearing the score for a movie without knowing what scene each piece of music matches. These pieces are given a cinematic gravitas through sharply-swelling strings and blustery horns, but the brevity of Deerhoof’s melodies means that no motif ever settles for too long; gorgeous piano solos are dashed through and the interrupted by wordless vocals and upswinging strings that could easily fit their way onto an old Magma record. If you’ve ever wondered what Deerhoof would be like on the big screen, ‘Chamber Variations’ answers your kinda weird question -- and occasionally, just to quench your first, it'll throw in a 'lil bit of guitar discordance.
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- Deerhoof Chamber Variations by Stargaze & Greg Saunier
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