OK, so last Tuesday Christopher Reimer from the band Women and a whole host of other bands (see post below) died in his sleep. Usually when musicians die, the reaction ranges from over-exaggerated eulogising to tasteless humour, and I have been a part of both those camps myself. However, when someone you truly admired and respected dies you get that feeling of genuine remorse and sadness for a dude you never even met, you just listened to his music and yet the feeling is still there, thats how much of an affect Women’s music and Chris’ other work had on me. Usually we hit you up with all manner of free downloads and underground links, this time I’m posting up only opportunities for paid purchase of material. Paradoxically, the only time a guy catches a break from his intellectual property rights being raped and pillaged is when he is no longer around to benefit from it. If you can, seriously buy Public Strain, it was one of the best albums of the last two years and remains one of the best records I have ever heard.
SO YEAH. I’ll get back on it. Starting with this blatant Swede. Axel Willner aka. The Field has just stumbled into my proximity of listening and, yeah, it’s on pitchfork, but it’s verging on the best album i’ve heard in a while. “Looping State of Mind” is exactly what it sounds like, a repetition of simple loops that give you an insight into his oldest record collection; you’ve got his minimal-techno side shining through in the structure of his music alongside a shoe-gaze/punk feel from the samples. It’s brilliant – seriously.
There’s a few stand out tracks that are worth a mention, especially the opener “Is this Power” which has these delicious synths glazing an endless post-punk bass line. Trinkets and mastery the lot of it.
Marrying abrasive drone-ish, noisey fuzz with eerie melodic vocals sounds like something of a science-fiction novel, yet quartet ‘Women’ from Calgary effortlessly accomplish this to a level Kevin Shields would be proud of. The LP itself is a fucking mash of different genres and angle that collectively form a contender for album of the year. They shock and satisify the listener at every track; just try defining this album into a genre. The only real ‘tag’ this album has got is postwave, which is just a bit of a fucking laugh really but sounds rad.
Last track on the album is a beast.
Drone, indie, shoegaze, kraut, pop, noise… postwave? Easily my favourite album of the year.
If you were to walk up to me holding this album and exclaim that it effortlessly blends the tenderness of ambient music and the droning wall of shoegaze I’d laugh at you. My cheeky guffaws would develop into a volley of mocking remarks as you continued to convey that they are a two-piece from New Zealand, Wellington, and that they season their style with electronic big beat. The fact is that all this is true and, remarkably, the music that the album gently pours out the speakers is phenomenal. It isn’t shy to create a beautiful, introspective atmosphere which passes by before you can note down the name of the album.
I find it upsetting that in recent years it’s been known for artists to try and hide the mood or motives behind cryptic lyrics, unecessary tempo changes and just being a little bit too pretentious. Don’t get met wrong, I love a slice of arrogance served with my own eclectic music cocktail. The reason for this is to call the music we listen to our own, not to boast on how impenetrable it is and that if you don’t like it, you obviously don’t get it. Glass Vaults make it clear what they have created; it’s an album which would seperate you from your surroundings, making even the most mundane train journey seem meaningful.
Have a gander.
The band themselves are on bandcamp and you are able to download the full EP, Glass EP, for free. There’s also a recently posted remix up of Secret Knives track ‘Black Hole’. It’s all worth a listen/download.