Music Reviews

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Artist: Amalgamated (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Aubjects
Amalgamated is a kind of supergroup from the Aubjects / Intangible Cat label, with members of Gushing Cloud (Cory Bengtsen), Homogenized Terrestrials (Phillip Klampe), Headless Ballerinas Underwater (Bob Newell), Dog Hallucination (D. Petri), & Rebekahs' Tape (Cory Bengtsen & Mike Richards). I had previously reviewed releases by Gushing Cloud, Homogenized Terrestrials, and Dog Hallucination and enjoyed them, so the pedigree is good. Let's see if the collaboration is greater than the sum of its parts. The label describes the album this way: 'Strongly informed by 80's industrial / cassette culture artists and creation methods, they mingle the sensibilities of home-tapers with their love for more current electronic artists and technologies. Noisy, dreamy lo-fi psychedelic elements are placed against carefully sculpted hi-fi electronics.' Sounds promising, so let's get into the music. If there is a theme that runs throughout the album, it is mellow with a hint of dissonance. 'Plinth' opens the disc with a nice groove and lots of reverb; this track reminded me of some of the more accessible stuff on Kranky. Not too out there, but a good listen. Some highlight the dissonance, for example, 'No Answer,' with the sampled preacher and vocals that have been completely destroyed before becoming a mellow, straightforward prog rock piece and 'Embryolymbic,' with distortion and analogue warbles. Others highlight the peaceful side, such as 'Gynosome' and 'Unworm Ascending.' Overall, this was an interesting synergy and not really what I expected from these artists. This would appeal to fans of Legendary Pink Dots or Godspeed You! Black Emperor.



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