Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: 900X – Music For Lubbock, 1980

If you can get past the absurdity that laid-back, dub-inspired synthesizer instrumentals might have the faintest relevance to Lubbock, Texas, whether in 1980, before or afterward, this album of playful chillout soundscapes might make you smile. The obvious question is why the party/parties responsible for these nebulous, sometimes western-themed tunes didn’t pull a band together to play them. They’d sound good with tremolo guitar, accordion, and pedal steel maybe, and of course a real rhythm section. But you know how much more it costs to record a real band, especially with the drums. And obviously that’s not the point of all this –  its quirkiness would be lost along with the occasional LOL little tweak that hits you just to see if you’re paying attention. At first listen, this could be some trendoid thinking that a bunch of loops and basic programmed beats could be a substitute for the real thing – Friends of Dean Martinez it’s not – but a closer listen reveals it as more likely the result of several wee-hours bedroom sessions with a little herb, a laptop and a sense of melody matched by a sense of humor. Obviously, this was made for an indie audience, i.e.  the Black Moth Super Rainbow crowd, but could also extend to a more diverse, less rigid listener base.

A couple of tracks set blippy little Casio tunes over moody, swooping organ. A couple others introduce a dub feel, one with an actually effective, trippy electronic drum breakdown, the other, the aptly titled Sunscape doing it with an echoey electric piano loop. The cinematic Everything Feels Temporary works its way up from blue-sky southwest to a soul vamp with oh-oh vocals, funky guitar and bass patches. The next track layers an amusingly awful, cheesy 80s fake brass sound over atmospheric string synth. The closest thing to rock here is the utterly psychedelic 101805 with its various layers peeking around the corners of the mix. Pass out to this with your headphones on. It’s out now on Asthmatic Kitty.

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September 14, 2009 - Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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