Various Artists - "TRR50 Thank You"
(Temporary Residence Ltd.
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: July 2004
The title to this album includes its alpha-numeric serial-code to celebrate the label's 50th album. Like many such codes I've observed before, it certainly makes me wonder what I've missed, as this label is new to me and most of the stuff is really good music. The first group is a threesome called Fridge, a pretty and somewhat hypnotic tune, you might say "lite electronica", with lots of acoustic instrumentation as well... firmly "new-age post-rock" in terms of the bass and the softly brooding but upbeat mood it adds to the overall sound. The first musician that is familiar to me is Kenseth Thibideau, whom I first got into via Species Being, recording here under the name Howard Hello. I'd love to hear more of this cat's solo stuff - this is a great "new-age post-rock" (that may sound pretentious, but it might be appropriate) classic... the choral melody that this beauty builds up to is epic and glorious in a way similar to Mike Oldfield, "Tubular Bells" anyway, meltingly relaxing and freeing for those that have a spot for this sort of naturally palliative and spiritual sound. Kilowatthours with Jeremy DeVine start out their tune with a mellow Tortoise/Can-like laid-back groove before merging with a cosmic wall-of-shoes guitar-pasteur riff that unfolds very nicely thence into a really neat coda for acoustic guitar.
Tarantel is next, with some hauntingly spacey electronics beneath a plodding beat and the usual brooding Mogwai-type bass riff... the guitars and tronics start to get noisily intense, then back off again. Rumah Sakit is a familiar name, another of Thibideau's projects. Hyper-progressive, agile, heavy, almost-catchy-for-being-so-complex, inspiring bass-licks and power-chords, a style much like Upsilon Acrux, or even Kopecki in its more metalish moments, finishing with Beefheart/Magic Band-type madness. A nice wild ride within 5-6 minutes' time. Explosions in the Sky provides some more powerful, melodic footwarish My Bloody Valentine guitar. It's a good song all round, and I still adore the sound, but it's becoming a bit predictable. Kammerflimmer Kollektiev is a very German-sounding German outfit which pours on the avant-kraut tronics over a down-tempo dub-hop beat; not remarkable, but more traditional in terms of ambient music. Sybarite combines the previous styles mentioned with a slow techno-beat and acoustic-guit riff that made me jump up and say "that's almost the same as Rush's "Farewell to Kings"!, and adding cosmic guitar again. Parlour's song is a thudding almost-bluesy stomp which later calls attention with a swelling ascendent penultimate guitar/keyboard passage. Halifax Pier has "And California", maybe it fits, though a song with lyrics about "friends and California" feels a bit sentimental compared to the rest in this line of instrumental song, though there is cello and violin, which helps the cause. Sonna gets "The Closer" for this collection, the most soothing and still ambient-space piece for keyboards and astral wailing guitars that could grace a Floyd (or any cosmic group's) record. Strange and beautiful photos and paintings accompany each page of the booklet as well. I like it a lot.
For more information you can visit the Temporary Residence web site at: http://www.temporaryresidence.com.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact via snail mail c/o Temporary Residence; PO Box 11390; Portland, OR 97211.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg