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Drifters / Love Is the Devil

Dirty Beaches Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 10.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 May 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoo Music
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,201 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

Dirty Beaches, a.k.a. Alex Zhang Hungtai, started off as a one-man band in 2005 in Montreal. A trans-Pacific nomad and genre-hopping sound-smith, he has released music ranging from drone instrumentals to film scores, and possesses a fascination for dissecting popular American music like blues, rockabilly, soul, R&B and hip hop, often rendering it to a point where it has become something else entirely. Hungtai s latest release, Drifters / Love Is the Devil, is a sprawling double-album that chronicles the musician s life on the road over the past two years through the labyrinths of Berlin, Belgrade, Paris, and many other cities; through heartbreak, rebirth and masochistic, existential self-reflection. Recorded between Montreal and Berlin in the winter of 2012, the two halves of Drifters / Love Is the Devil are separated only by aesthetics, as they are tightly woven together thematically as one conceptual piece. If 2011 s Badlands was an exercise in exorcising past ghosts in a semi-fictional world, then Drifters / Love Is the Devil is a reflection on the fragility of reality that of the outside world in which the artist explores the nightlife of bright neon temptations and hedonistic values, and that of the inner world, one of remorse and lovelorn tragedies.

Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Split Personalities 27 May 2013
By Gannon
Format:Audio CD
Those that thought they had Alex Zhang Hungtai pegged on account of his debut Badlands are in for a big surprise when confronted with its sprawling successor Drifters / Love Is The Devil - all 16 tracks and 75 minutes of it. The leather-clad hellion on Badlands` cover was apparently just a character, Hungtai's Twitter stream confirming his demise recently: "If you want the old stuff, it's over."

Though, if you've been keeping tabs on Hungtai for any length of time, it was kinda obvious his next move would be anything but predictable. Before Badlands there was a variety of styles with numerous collaborators, since then an ambient, drone-filled documentary score. Newly single and struggling after two solid years on the road, Drifters / Love Is The Devil is Hungtai's pained cry at transience (see the tellingly cathartic "This Is Not My City"). Suffice it to say his mood is far from parallel with the exotic locations of his track listing: Lisbon; Belgrade; Berlin - the latter his adopted home during much of the double-album's recording process. Where exactly he was staying during this time however is anyone's guess, as the brutal rhythm of "Aurevoir Mon Visage" borrows the bleakest of the city's techno over which he totally loses it, screaming in abstract French.

Tied together in concept, Drifters and Love Is The Devil are artistic statements first and commercial endeavours second, a battle Hungtai has been waging and, according to him, losing for some time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 27 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A double album, or perhaps more accurately a double EP. Lo fi and often sounding as though it was recorded using a microphone onto a 1970's tape deck. Drifters is grimy 1970s disco, well some of it is. The vocals are deep in the mix and Drifters is a challenge to listen to in places mainly due to repetition provided by endless loops of music that just drone on. Of course that is probably the point. Love is the Devil is mostly instrumental with a definite ambient sound. It is quite beautiful and moving and oddly has a tune resembling Memories emerging through the mist. So, difficult yes, but also a very rewarding and ultimately uplifting album that is mysterious and merits multi plays.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh my! 25 May 2013
By Dan Leithauser - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First experience of Dirty Beaches was on Bandcamp... where a couple of wall of sound compositions led to this album. At first, you hear these these old school electronic sounds as if played in a parking deck in front of a sheet with an amiga newtek video toaster providing the backdrop. Later in pieces like Landscapes in the Mist, and Greyhound at Night, there are these wonderful hints of French electronic parlor music not unlike those boys from Tuxedo Moon, Benjamin Lew and Steven Brown, did on a couple of albums Douzieme Journee - Le Verbe, La Parure, L'Amour...Au Sujet D'Un Paysage with swirling sparse piano, unearthly horns, and strange organic electronics reminiscent of the noises in your head when there is complete silence.

Admittedly, there are a couple of duds on here that would be better if they had less rather than more...notably "Woman"... but when Dirty Beaches hits the stride, you will be thinking of this as post modern French spaghetti western music for chilling.

RIYL: Benjamin Lew/Steven Brown, Early Hector Zazou Geographies/13 Proverbs Africains, Jon Hassell, environmental Eno.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late night reverbed electro-noir 8 Jan 2014
By 410 - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Do you love lo fi electronics, maxed out reverb, pulsating loops, echo and disaffected half sung, half spoken vocals... welcome to a one man band called Dirty Beaches. Despite the lo fi haze, or probably because of it, Dirty Beaches sound much warmer and organic than that gloomy description would suggest. He makes a specialty of atmosphere and suggestion, which no surprise, follows a foray into film soundtracks. But the "songs" do go places and have builds and clever accents.

The double album is more synth driven than the rusty guitars and drums of the great Badlands album, which affectionately turned its 1950s inspirations askew. Here Dirty Beaches are immersed in fairly obscure reference points: Péloquin Sauvageau, early Cabaret Voltaire and Residents, and the scores of reissues with labels like minimal wave, dark wave, synth wave and Belgian cold wave. I'm not sure there's really much difference in any of that, and it makes more sense to just say the Dirty Beaches are really inspired by Suicide and the Original Sound of Sheffield, a city they failed to namedrop in favor of Berlin, Lisboa and Belgrade. "Night Walk" might be a new anthem for the dirty shadows of the city, "I Dream In Neon" drags you home to crash at 3AM, the apocalyptic "Au Revoir Mon Visage" is a Francophone foray that conjures "Frankie and Johnny," and the near epic menace of "Mirage Hall" manages to make industrial electro drums sound cool. The 2nd half of this double album is a series of variations on more sparse, hazy soundtrack impressions that have less initial immediacy but still withstand repeated listenings. I've now spun through the record multiple times and this may really stand the test of time. As Suicide, Cabaret Voltaire and their peers became less interesting as their careers evolved, hopefully Dirty Beaches can learn from a careful study of history and keep up a great streak for years to come. The best late night album I've heard in ages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a ritualistic dark music immersion with the absorbing power of primal enchantment. 25 Jun 2013
By Charlie Quaker - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Somewhere between the third and fifth studio album for Canadian Alex Zhang Hungtai. Really, there are two very distinct albums here. The 2nd half, "Love Is the Devil", takes a more subtle and poignant, if slightly deranged, soundscape melody approach. (I swear I hear strains of "The Way We Were" in "Alone At the Danube River".) The 1st half, "Drifters", creates more immediate interest with its rhythmic aggression. ("I Dream in Neon" sounds like a ZZ Top garage/drone bewitchment.) Minimalist, mid-to-lo-fi sound threads mix a post-industrial ambient psychosis with addictive, opiate rhythmic undercurrents. There's some slurred, disconnected vocals that project a mesmerizing aura of emotional distance with an amoral accent. Something like a ghost vision of Joy Division on a surfboard with Suicide. Muted yip/yowl leather chap music for dark club corners. The haunted, eerie core of subtle electronic sleaze-rock hypnosis. A cultish hipster gathering of backroom zombie moaners. A one-way playground pass to ride the ambient beat merry-go-round, snugged-up in an LED-lit rubber suit that reflects shadowy images off the foggy atmospherics. Sometimes references Suicide, Moon Duo, Remora, Mac DeMarco, Electric Bird Noise, Explosions in the Sky, Dr. John, Zoviet France, King Dude, Flowerpot Men. It's a very strange, almost ritualistic, dark music immersion with the absorbing power of primal enchantment.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Double Album 18 Aug 2013
By T. A. Daniel - Published on
Double albums are tricky business. They are the ultimate in rock-n-roll excess; even Pink Floyd's The Wall or the Beatles' self-titled albums are weighed down by their own ambition. More recent examples, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium or the Flaming Lips' Embryonic feel as if they would have fared better as just one album. Dirty Beaches' Alex Zhang Hungtai attempts to overcome this problem by releasing a double album composed of two separate albums that are distinct in their tone, style, and subject matter. Drifters/Love is the Devil has more in common with Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below than Dylan's Blonde on Blonde; both Drifters and Love is the Devil stand on their own, but together, they tell one singular story.

What if David Bowie traveled to the underbelly of Bangkok to record his Berlin triptych? The most easily accessible of the two discs, Drifters is marked by its recursive bass lines, 90's drum machines, and Hungtai's desperate howls. And while this might be the best place to start listening to this record, it eschews most of the structure and sound of traditional music today. The audio mix on Drifters doesn't offer many highs or lows; it sounds like it's been recorded from a cassette (fitting, as many of Hungtai's releases pre-2011 were cassette-only). "ELLI" is the only track with anything really resembling a chorus, and even then, it doesn't stand well on its own. This record is best experienced (and yes, I know this is going to sound snotty) as a whole. "Aurevoir Mon Visage" finds Hungtai shouting in French over a minimalist rhythm (similar in sound to The Books), and "Mirage Hall" is a nearly 10-minute trip into abstraction. You can focus in on any of these tracks, but they work best when you let them play themselves out, like the soundtrack to a movie that was lost somewhere in the passage of time.

Love is the Devil was written after the collapse of Hungtai's long-term relationship. Recorded in the wee hours of the morning when the studio was empty, it would be an understatement to call this a "break-up" record. Break-up records are easy to come by: Sea Change by Beck, Exile in Guyville by Liz Phair, or even the recent Damage by Jimmy Eat World. Love is the Devil, on the other hand, barely contains a single lyric in favor of impressionistic instrumentation. Hungtai barely utters a word on these 8 tracks (a few moans in "Like the Ocean We Part"), but loneliness, confusion, and grief clouds every moment. Musically, it's similar to the work of David Lynch's long-time collaborator Angelo Badalamenti; these songs would fit right in with an episode of Twin Peaks or a silent moment in Mulholland Drive. Mostly composed on old synthesizers and keyboards, the musical palette here is mostly pretty muted, but Hungtai is able to explore these sounds fully. When a guitar makes an appearance on "Alone at the Danube River," it's just heartbreaking.

Dirty Beaches' Drifters/Love is the Devil is an exercise in duality. The music here is instantly recognizable, but startlingly unfamiliar; Hungtai's voice is sad and mournful, but primal and desperate; these compositions feel both claustrophobic and menacingly minimal. If Drifters and Love is the Devil were released separately, they wouldn't have nearly the impact that they do released together. Sure, each of them stand on their own, but they complement each other in a way that is hard to put into words. This double-album isn't just a collection of songs - it's a place that you can find yourself in. This is a place where steam billows out of the sewer grating, where there are many people but all of them alone, where you think and see in neon flashing lights. Dirty Beaches has created a scary and confused world, but once you visit, you can't help yourself from returning to it once again.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Anti-Best Coast 26 Jun 2013
By MalcolmK - Published on
Verified Purchase
Dark, avant-garde and melodic, this album is not for everyone. This album is for people who have an appreciation for places like Venice Beach, Ocean Beach, Coney Island, etc. It's for people who want to put on their headphones and feel sinister, who want to completely escape from the grind.

Highly artistic and experimental, it works.
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