Sunday, October 22, 2017

A MONUMENT OF ME AND LOFI
"Pharo" C60 (Hzy Mlk)



There doesn't seem to be a ton of info around about this project or its only member, Robert Heller. But judging solely by the cover, this tape contains 100% fewer slowed down New Jack Swing samples than I had hoped for, and way more DSP-twee acoustic guitar exploration instead. 

And there is a nice melancholic tinge to the guitar figures here, which gives those passages a fitting nostalgic bittersweetness. The DSP work is controlled and flows with a pretty advanced sense of pacing. While there are many times when things meander organically enough that you look up after a few minutes and suddenly realize you're in a different place, jarring cuts happen frequently enough to re-up your attention.

But if this all sounds like 'me too' Endless Summer-isms, know that that aspect turns out to be a relatively minor element. There are dulled four-on-the-floor beats popping up at points, some basement folk murk being granulation-crumbled, even some bad time psychedelic vibes creeping into the room. In fact, side 2 is where Heller seems to cut the cord and let you drift out into the nebula.

Not exactly shutter shades with an extra frame for your third eye, but maybe it's more like Mego's sharp focus after that one mushroom trip and covered in years of old Tascam snow?


-ckwilhex

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