ANDREW LIVINGSTON “News From the Oort Cloud” C38 (Gold Bolus)

A peek at the Gold Bolus roster will liszt the names of several dozen people who know composition and musicianship better than you do the abilities of your own dominant hand. Which is to say, as the French do, they are “the shit”.  Andrew Livingston, gun for hire, fits right in.

“News From the Oort Cloud” is a sprawling documentation of AL’s musical mastery (and creative mixing) across painstakingly-detailed classical supports that bolster his precision-obsessed pop-sensibilities. The damnedest thing here is that these songs are so rife with intricate phrases (and counterpoints!) that they seamlessly flow free of registering as “hooks”. It’s like experiencing the bliss of a brilliantly catchy tune, without the lingering post-partum echo following. I suspect it’s the spaciness in the rhythms, or the deliberately affected/unsingalongableness of the choral deliveries, or the genre-bendiness of it all.

If I had to pigeon-hole it, i’d call it “classical/folk/cabaret”, if that makes any sense.

Listen mid-volume, with good headphones, for the entirety of the record, for maximum effect.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan