Sunday, January 21, 2007

MAU! MAU! DIDI MAU!

Deerhunter the band (not the film) began in 2001 with a simple manifesto one which saw them attempt to fuse the freedom of ambient and minimalist music with the claustrophobic klang of garage punk. The central core of the band being Atlanta based songwriter Bradford Cox; who has over the years weathered numerous chaotic line up changes, the death of a band member and general discouragement from the public at large. Throughout this though a line up for the band has been shaped and shaped again. Eventually settling as a five piece comprised of Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, Colin Mee, Lockett Pundt and Bradford Cox. The band released two limited press records on local Atlanta based record label Rob's House Records.

2004 the band retreated to the rural hinterland of GA to record their debut self titled LP, released and promoted locally. In 2005 the band began work on their second full length release, one which would take nearly two years to record and in the process drive the band to point of near bankruptcy. The first half of the album was recorded first unsuccessfully. These recordings were a blur at best, wordless and bordering on psychological atrophy. The sessions failed to provide anything tangible, and were racked with technical and personal problems, including out-of-tune pianos, panic attacks, and a tape machine that seemed to fail to capture the full spectrum of ambience the band was exploring. Down trodden the band returned home and considered giving altogether. In an attempt to give it one last go they again decamped to that same rural studio that had bourne their first full length.

This session was far more succesful than earlier attempts, nailing the entire first half of what was to become their major label debut "Cryptograms" for Kranky Records. The second half of the record, also recorded in a day was put to tape in late November 2005. An exaustive calender of promotion began in 2006 during which they were voted critics choice for "Best Local Experimental Music Act" at Creative Loafing, 2006. Culminating in the band signing to the aforementioned label and agreeing to a distribution deal which would see their album released in late January 2007. The album shows a more coherent sound from that of the miasma and chaos generally showcased in earlier incarnations balancing earth-rattling drones with angelic cadences that dwell on the borders of coherent song structure. Utilizing the blank spaces inside the notes, which leaves plenty of room to roam around a wash of graceful guitar noise, clutter and kraut-rock rhythms. A competent take on less-than-orthodox sounds blossomed in only a few short years from lo-fi, "kitchen avant-garde" home recordings to a viable tenant of the pop avant-garde that gives a nod to everyone from Rhys Chatham to Stereolab. One to watch in 2007 with a busy calender to match, from support slots for both Grizzly Bear and Sparklehorse in March to an invite to the SWSX festival further into the year.


Deerhunter - Spring Hall Convert (MP3)

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