- Joyful Noise / JNR254CD / JNR254LP
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This is a collaboration between this Canadian chanteuse and the... um... forgetful Spacemen 3 legend. In fact neither can remember quite how they met but here they pass compositions back and forth across the big pond resulting in a record way out of both artists comfort zone taking in electronica, noise and even trip hop along the way.
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We’ll start with a proud affirmation of the biases that make me unfit to review this album. It involves Sonic Boom, who is the closest thing I have to a nemesis: he once phoned up Norman Records and yelled at me down the phone before realising he was working on misinformation and hung up. I am therefore unable to enjoy Spacemen 3 records. Maybe it was one of the other guys. I don't know. Sorry; that’s indie rock penance. Anyway, he may be The Worst, but this record is not: I am in fact able to confirm this is a lovely swirl of miasma and rhythm, pitting the conceptual geniuses of No Joy and Sonic Boom into motorik workouts that’d get any cosmic gym rolling.
“Obsession” is just sublime: its little trinkets of sounds, be they a chord stab or a sudden, super-brief interlude in lockdown, make it the perfect kinda dance song. Reliable and surprising, it has me rocking in my chair. A platter of chopped-up lucidity, it leads into the dreamy “Slorb”, which serves as a proper example of who dreams best: of course, it’s these two, their sound palette allowing ideas to come into focus before disappearing in groans and twinkles -- when a beat comes back in, it sounds half-sentient, barely aware of its own telos.
Apparently neither No Joy nor Sonic Boom can remember where or how they met, which is just typical, to be honest: it’s also extremely indicative of the end product, which is all over the place in the best way. Its ideas could afford a full record, if they wanted it: the melodies you boot up “Triangle Probability” with are not the Boards of Canada inflected dream pop you end up with. Who knows if they even remember making the record, but rest assured they were on the creative roll of their careers.
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