Thursday, December 31, 2009

Albums of the Year, 2009 : 9 - Worriedaboutsatan - Arrivals

"It retains post-rock's long stride while jettisoning its typical palette, blending it with a variety of moods-- dub's spaciousness, trip-hop's sullenness, ambient music's austerity, and minimal techno's grid-based pitter-patter, all seamlessly rolled together in alert modulations of intensity.

The bass on this album is so distant and ruminative that it seems partially submerged, like the back of an immense sea-creature rhythmically slipping above and below the waves. The percussion is manicured yet spritzy, with the baroque cadences of spitting rain. Periodic vocal samples are hung about in hazy washes, making it sound a bit like Burial for English-Lit majors. The structures are crescendo-based, but arrive by such creeping degrees that we're never jarred, only soothed, lulled.

This is consummate mood-music that glints with striking details. There's the high, held tone cycling through the nocturnal drive of "I Am a Crooked Man", with its nearly visual wobble. There's the telegraphic progression of "Pissing About", a stable axis in a prismatic blur of texture and rhythm. There's the strangulated glitch-melody of "History Is Made at Night", seeming always on the verge of breaking into lush glissando. Who needs guitars when you've got string-like themes scudding majestically above rippling sonar blips, scratchy-record percussion giving form to rushing waters and howling winds?"

- Brian Howe, Pitchfork

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