This is pretty brilliantly fucking baffling I tell ya! Okay, wait, maybe not the best start to a review ever – so I’ll quickly qualify: I really love this, the debut full-lengther from Stef Animal (The Golden Awesome).
It’s a set of writing-exercises-as-songs; the challenge was to make a collection of lo-fi songs using obsolete or unfashionable music equipment.
If you grew up on 80s computer games and the sci-fi/horror/martial arts films (and their soundtracks) of that era then you might instantly be in heaven with this. That’s the case for me. Though ever so slightly unnerving. In a good way.
Top Gear starts with that slightly off-centred vibe of The Room’s score. There are several pieces that feel like moments within John Carpenter movie soundtracks. And for the most part it’s as if these were written as song-sketches, the idea, maybe, was to come back and drape a bit more of a song – some lyrics, some melody – over the top. But then the realisation that this all sorta hangs together quite nicely as is.
It’s creepy and soothing, calm and disjointed, measured and wild – somewhere these pieces (may of them two minutes or shorter) seem to occupy several sonic spaces at once: relaxed and meditative, tranquil – but somehow mildly abrasive. I love that.
And yet there’s no real challenge in the listening – as such. This just wafts by, all but begging you to hit the repeat button, to play it again, to continue to sway under its spell.
My new favourite.
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