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Landing, "Brocade"

Landing's latest full length album is more of a single symphony than five separate tracks; Brocade is not a song-based album but one long continuous work. The music unwinds at a leisurely pace and is best appreciated all in one sitting.


Strange Attractors

Brocade is largely instrumental (only "How to be Clean" has any vocals) and is bathed in analog synthesizers with lots of guitar effects. There's an unmistakable '70s prog rock sound going on and the pure synths on "Music for Three Synthesizers" are very '80s sounding to me, but Landing keeps it modern and fresh, without playing like they're simply digging up old rock corpses. The music is hypnotic, repetitive, and layered, but by no means dull or heavy.


Despite the building layers it has a very open and spacious feel, a feel which is reinforced by titles like "Loft" and "Yon," bringing up images of empty skies and vast distances (echoed as well in the rather barren landscape on the album's cover). "Spiral Arms" is similarly well-named; if you could put a galaxy into sound, it might just sound like this. The static buzz carried over from "Yon" gives way to delicate acoustic guitar and electronic swoops and blowing winds. "How to be Clean" is a rocker and adds enough movement and energy to the mix to keep this guitar-rock girl happy.

I found it difficult to listen to Brocade at work; in addition to the usual cube farm noise and coworker interruptions, Winamp's pauses between tracks made the transitions jarring, most notably between "Yon" and "Spiral Arms" and between "Spiral Arms" and "How to be Clean." This is one to listen to at home with a glass of wine in a darkened room or on a long lonely car trip, and it's certainly not one for the iPod Shuffle.

 

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Review of the Day

BERKOWITZ, LAKE & DAHMER, "CONTRACEPTION OF THE GODS"
Not to be confused with the similarly moniquered old prog group, Berkowitz, Lake & Dahmer are certainly a bit noisier, and probably don't stop at sticking knives in keyboards. Lord Pendro and Mr Oleum of Fflint Central have been afflicted by channeled rumblings from these disembodied ectoplasmic entities for some time, and the only way they know how to exorcise the Satanic power of the drones and loops that take hold of their recording sessions when this trio of restless spirits holds sway is to bung out a CD-R packed full of seventy minutes of what really went on there at the haunted red house from another dimension. Of course Lord Pendro has been known to become restless when imbibing vast quantites of spirits of a different kind, but that is another story.
The door to the frightening red and black world of BLD opens on a not particularly merry-go-round eight note chime whilst the nasty ones gurgle and gargle for a bit. Next all hell breaks out with a bone shaking drone monster on the loose in the form of 'Tones in Red', and bubbling rhythmic turmoil and rubble strewing simple cement mixer loops keep revolving in nightmarish ecstasy. In the haunted red house live the likes of the bawling baby headed Foetor with his abominable shuntings and the creepy big nosed Norbert H. Conduit who is damned for all time for trying to knock some sense into the Celestial Hives of Honshu...
Either that or these guys have been listening to way too much Non, Coil, Throbbing Gristle and Muslimgauze whilst reading back issues of Fortean Times. Available from: www.fflintcentral.co.uk

 

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