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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.

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

Akron/Family

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

Erik K. Skodvin, "Flame"

cover imageFlame is only Skodvin's second solo album under his own name (following 2010's Flare), but he has long been quite a prolific fellow in both his Svarte Greiner solo guise and as one-half of Deaf Center.  While I do not yet have a comprehensive command of Erik’s entire oeuvre, this latest effort seems like a significant detour from the bleakly heavy drones that I normally associate with him.  Flame is still dark, of course, but it is more of a gently smoldering darkness than a crushing, oppressive one.  More importantly, this is a wonderful album, as Skodvin's lighter touch, clarity, and increased use of space combine to bring his excellent ideas into sharp relief.


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