Music

CD Shorts

Reviewed this week: Lord Russ, Matmos, and Super Hi-Fi

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lord Russ

Heir of Mystery

(Tchoupitoula Music)

Russell Brooks, aka Lord Russ, has evolved over time into a fascinating musical creature whose DNA is rich in genetic material from David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Greg Lake, Justin Hayward, Marc Bolan, Syd Barrett and Freddie Mercury—for starters. His latest release continues a tradition of blending ’60s psychedelia with ’70s glam rock and embracing a bizarre Arthurian and/or Salvador Dali-inspired mythology as his muse. Whatever the origins of his inspiration, one might guess that they are principally European in origin, and the results are indicative of a broad exposure to literature, film and art history. Abundant percussion and electronic instrumentation add to a generally delightful cacophony of tweaker ear candy, and a cover of Lee Hazelwood’s “Some Velvet Morning” stays true to the original while adding its own trippy embellishments. To Pepperland, driver, and don’t spare the reverb! —Tom Sturm

*

Matmos

The MARRIAGE of True Minds

(Thrill Jockey)

Trippy is a good word for Matmos’s The MARRIAGE of True Minds. The composition process took a unique road; selected test subjects sat across from Matmos member Drew Daniel blindfolded and wearing white-noise headphones. Daniel would then attempt to “send” the concept of the new Matmos record into their minds. Based on the subject’s feedback, the band created the music of The MARRIAGE of True Minds. Electronic, percussive, and acoustic sounds mix with vocals to create a flowing fusion. At times slow and well-blended, at others upbeat and defined by percussion, the sounds feel like the flitting, changing thought patterns of the mind. The MARRIAGE of True Minds is a composite of multiple elements that alone are chaos, but together form an organized tapestry that billows and shifts in the winds of music, just as thought structures billow and shift in response to the winds of stimuli. —Patrick Kelley

*

Super Hi-Fi

Dub to the Bone

If you’re in the mood for trombone-based dub, this is the perfect record. That may seem like a slight, but it’s anything but—Super Hi-Fi creates a highly unusual sound that somehow works very well, despite sounding like a particularly silly gimmick. It’s got elements of all sorts of things you’d never expect to find in one place, and the result is a sultry groove that veers from Hawaii Five-O horn surf to bass-heavy Caribbean grooves. That the whole thing is underpinned by two trombones and played by guys who look as if they’ve recently escaped service as waiters at a club for unkempt gentlemen is inconsequential once the reverb swirls trip everything right into a brassy Twilight Zone. You may not think you’re in the mood for trombone dub, but in light of how easy this one slides, you really owe it to yourself to ask why not. —James Heflin

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As for the story behind the band’s unusual moniker, Cleveland claims that, too, was inspired by the words of a friend

Posted by Telexfree on 4.9.13 at 12:03
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