Friday, October 26, 2012

Junior Pande - "Tape Two," and Ali Helnwein - "Strange Creations" (Spring Break Tapes)


Junior Pande's (otherwise known as Justin Peroff, drummer for Broken Social Scene) Tape Two is futurehead music. Vaguely hip-hop in repetitions, but mainly abstract electronic one-man band exploration in execution, this album is 22 minutes of collage whizz-whir and I dig it. The electronics take the listener over in a dsytopian way. I don't know how to feel about the experience of being assaulted by keyboards and beats and splattered samples. Junior Pande's music does, like Stuart Berman of Pitchfork wrote, allude to the Flaming Lips in the sense that the melodies and the almost "sci-fi" vibe of the music do point to the nexus of electronic pop and "electronica." The production is top notch...maybe this is the soundtrack to Thom Yorke's daydreams?

Strange Creations by composer Ali Helnwein is truly a fantastic surprise. Often, when I get put out by one too many noise cassettes, I think I've heard it all before. Then my ears are surprised with an unexpected review submission. Helnwein is a film and TV composer and his moody pieces on this album reflect a flair for the dramatic and understanding of narrative. "Whistling Past the Graveyard" is BEGGING for Tom Waits to throw his gravel scarred vocal chords on top and/or just sit behind the scene of some Tim Burton conceived claymation short film. From "Greed" to "Gluttony," Strange Creations is an album full of inventive arrangements and wonderful melodies. Turn tape over. Repeat.

Buy and Listen HERE.

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