on 8 August 2011
When you're hot you're hot. Few people could get away with knocking out a one-track, 20+ minute percussive EP under the very literal title of Marimba And ****-Drums. Fewer still could let fly five lengthy pieces as its follow-up, collating them under the umbrella of Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped, but, fresh from the strongest Wolf Parade album to date, Spencer Krug is in just that kind of form.
His honesty in nomenclature is refreshing too, for there is little pretence to be found here. As Moonface, stripped of band-mates and baggage, it seems that Krug is free to run with his ideas and titular organ, alone perhaps therefore in lamenting his LP's lack of vibraphone. Though undeniably a new direction for Krug, his identifiable vocal and knack for melody remain, and, combined here with his experiments in parping, double-manual decadence, the results are often quite arresting.
On the opener "Return To The Violence Of The Ocean Floor" for example, we're presented with an array of playful organ chirrups that run amok through hissing drum patterns, wistful loops and wheezy drone. Whereas, on "Loose Heart = Loose Plan" we discover a measured nod and stutter thanks to that same organ's fizzy, stepping beats. And, before dissolving into general oddball noodling, and with a vocal contribution by Camilla Wynne Ingr of another of Krug's projects (Sunset Rubdown), the light, song-driven nature of "Fast Peter" is gently pleasing.
Yet, the album comes to be defined by two mesmerising moments unlike much else in the market. So, despite being hidden behind complex depths of nearly psyche, the grandiosity of "Whale Song (Song Instead Of A Kiss)" shines with majesty. The way its random arpeggios intensify, kicking up a gear at the track's midpoint, are breath-taking set against the now-ubiquitous organ's creaking shadows and textures.
Equally, the intriguingly-titled "****-Hawk In The Snow" makes a strong case for itself with an urgent, skittering drum that rattles amidst the organ's bleeps. As Krug intones solemnly, ""Hyp-hyp-hyp-hypnotise you", the track flexes out with percussive claps. And, as he freaks out, repeating that "It just looks like any other rock!", the whole thing descends into high-pitch knob-twiddling and impressive layers of drone.
Organ Music is certainly another notch in Krug's bedpost. It feels organic, expansive and it's thoroughly outstanding. That it is also primarily the work of one man with vision enough to make one instrument sing beyond its ordinary capacity, and that the end product is still ripe with hooks is all the more startling.
Advised downloads: "Whale Song (Song Instead Of A Kiss)" and "****-Hawk In The Snow".
on 1 January 2013
As a percussionist I believed this would be interresting, an organ doing vibraphone music. I could not hear the organ at any time, it is like a commercial pop-disc compared to what I expected.
I give 4 stars as they play rather well, but cannot give 5 as I am to disappointed.