Sentimental Helsinkilaiset The Gentleman Losers (Samu and Ville Kuukka, aka Lessons) return after seven years of attention directed elsewhere. True to the meticulously-produced analogue texture and post-rock lounge style of previous releases, Permanently Midnight sounds like a snug, wintry log cabin recalled from a dingy Route 66 motel. Artfully presented by Grainy Records.
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Oh the weird things that happen at Norman Records. I'm playing it on the headphones and at the exact same time someone is playing it in the office causing a strange dissonance. This isn't the first impressive thing about the Gentleman Losers though. The group made some much loved records in the early 2000's only to disappear completely. Now they are back and with Tom Meluch (Beniot Pioulard) loving it on Bandcamp it sounds like they've lost none of their skills.
Theirs is a distinctly retro sounding take on slow moving electronica. 'Night Falls In Nowhereland' is a brilliant piece of rusted electronics with nods back to Eno, Woo and sideways to the Ghostbox label. But it's not all lo-fi tronics. On 'The Good Bird Singing in the Twilight Tree' they add in simple drum patterns and heavily processed vocals that sounds something like Sparklehorse fed through Bibio's tape machine. In fact a lot of these pieces have the same wobbly sound as Bibio, as if they are recording at sea. The way they mix small shards of guitars into their minimal electronica is unique and 'Permanently Midnight' becomes one of those records that seems to exist completely of it's own time and place. They have a tightly pressed sound that despite the obvious comparisons the record is it's own entity.
Superb tracks like 'Holding Back the Night' expertly blend post rock, electronica and retro synth excursions but they are not afraid to write a lo-fi pop tune when the mood takes them. If you are a fan of the likes of Advisory Circle, Boards of Canada or Benioit Pioulard you are in for a right treat.
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- Permanently Midnight by The Gentleman Losers
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