Sunday, October 1st, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 51
|Adem / Love And Other Planets (Domino)
Adem is the musical alter-ego of Brit Adem Ilhan (no surnames, please, we’re artists). His second album was performed almost entirely by himself (save some backing vocals, violin and drums) and recorded at home, and it sounds it – it’s warm and cozy and laid back with a cup of tea on the side table. Fundamentally a folk record but dressed up in contemporary production values, it’s a wonderfully laid-back contemplation of love, space and other matters of cosmic import. It’s a bit of a shame I’m only getting to this album so late in the year – it’s the sonic equivalent of lying in an open field somewhere in the wilds of England on a Summer’s night, watching the stars. Adem plays Supermarket on October 12 with Juana Molina.
|Cale Parks / Illuminated Manuscript (Polyvinyl)
Cale Parks has a name that sounds like it should make rugged, plaid-clad Appalachian mountain music, but instead the drummer/multi-instrumentalist from Aloha uses his own name to craft sparkling bits of laptop pop. Successfully grafting synthetic tones with organic/acoustic ones, Illuminated Manuscript is ambient, droning, skittering and almost always melodic. At points, it recalls everyone and anyone who has made electronic music for the indie set but on the whole, it’s pretty sounds like pretty and delicate and not unlike opening a 21st century music box, less the little plastic ballerina.
|The Guggenheim Grotto / …Waltzing Alone (United For Opportunity)
It’s probably true you can’t judge a book by its cover, but what about a CD that comes in a book? The packaging for the new record from Dublin’s Guggenheim Grotto is a small and gorgeous hardcover book with foil printed graphics. The band acknowledges the importance of packaging as well – fully one quarter of the pages within are taken up with a transcript of an online discussion about that very topic. So yay, score one for physical media. But what of the software? Unfortunately, the music contained therein is considerably less remarkable, consisting mainly of grandly romantic, acoustic folk anthems the likes of which seem to be the specialty of the Irish. It’s all well played and performed but lacks that certain ineffable quality that can cause weary, jaded ears to perk up and pay extra attention. But still – great packaging.
MP3: The Guggenheim Grotto – “Portmarnock Beach Boy Blue”