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Upgrade & Afterlife [VINYL] Import

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • ASIN: B0000701PO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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By A Customer on 5 May 2000
Format: Audio CD
A beautifully understated album, David Grubbs sparse vocals bring a wonderfully atmospheric album.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Gastr del Sol release 9 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the best gastr album out. Although Camofleur is good it gets rid of the sounds and minimalism that make Upgrade and Afterlife so enjoyable. There are slow acoustic guitar marches, bizarre static interludes, some horns and organs, and all done with taste and restraint. Almost totally indescribable, but certainly worthwhile for the post-rock thrill-seeker. Also worth getting is Jim O'Rourke's solo record Bad Timing, which is absolutely gorgeous.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential for any modern collection of avant-garde. 27 Jan. 2001
By Papa Smerv-B'Gard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
[....] Camofleur (which IS also incredible) is widely regarded with all the "indie rockers" as being their best album, mainly because of the more structured song composition and less experimentation, but I think Upgrade really shows O'Rourke and David Grubbs in their prime as this duo. It really shows their musique concrete and minimalist style. The music is more open ended both in structure and sound. There are great noise arrangements throughout this record and all kinds of crazy sounds in the music like the teapot in song 3. The first song "Our Exquisite Replica of Eternity" needs to be listened to on headphones at an extremely loud volume to trully experience it's grandeur. Has the same vibe as Also Sprach Zarathustra from 2001: A Space Odyssey...anyway, if you're looking into this group's music I reccomend this album to really see what they were all about.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Exquisite Replica Of A Comment 24 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Gastr del Sol created wonderful music for several years. Contrary to popular opinion, David Grubbs was the primary creative influence in the "group," which was a revolving door facility including full-time (usually) member John McIntyre and eventually the super-hyped persona of Jim O'Rourke. The early Gastr del Sol records are excellent and CROOKT, CRACKT, OR FLY and THE SERPENTINE SIMILAR (sans O'Rourke) are certainly accessible and lovely in exquisite ways. MIRROR REPAIR stakes its claim along with Pavement's WATERY, DOMESTIC, Bedhead's THE DARK AGES, and O'Rourke's own HALFWAY TO A THREEWAY, as one of the great modern indie EPs. CAMOUFLEUR is certainly an essential part of any respectable collection of inventive pop albums. All this said, UPGRADE AND AFTERLIFE is Gastr del Sol's masterpiece. It is a remarkable work of musical genius, the fruits of a well-planned (if a little pretentious) effort at a masterpiece. "Rebecca Sylvester" would be the crown jewel of the album, were it not that moments mattered so much in this work. The Gastr del Sol players/producers make music out of notes, looped sounds, self-generated noise, and the occasional and always perfect voice that softly proclaims meaningful or meaningless parables. With a nod to methodic minimalists Tony Conrad and Shellac, Gastr del Sol well represent the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This album will be described in the future as "avant-garde" and driven by the genius of Jim O'Rourke. I disagree. Much like the music that makes it a masterpiece, the whole of the ensemble is greater than the sum of its parts. And, incidentally, recall that O'Rourke made a name for himself as a producer by mixing Melt-Banana and U.S. Maple records; those bands would tend to make any producer look like a genius. O'Rourke's associations with Sonic Youth and Wilco further lend to his aura. But if you first listen to O'Rourke's solo work, then subsequently listen to Grubbs' solo work, and then finally listen to UPGRADE AND AFTERLIFE, you will realize what the two primary writers' respective solo efforts miss the most -- the respective other. UPGRADE AND AFTERLIFE is a strange sort of pop, and well worth the time required for appreciation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not necessarily for everyone, BUT... 20 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is not Gastr's most accessible album (that would be Camofleur). U&A provides a more challenging listening experience, and if you are expecting pop songs, you might steer clear. However, I find the juxtaposition of strange amorphous drones, harsh static, and passages of beautiful melody quite interesting. There is some very lovely guitar playing: unusual, almost unidentifiable manipulations of sound: surreal bits of lyric thrown in here and there... If you have an ear for contemporary experimental music, I highly recommend Upgrade & Afterlife, and really most anything by Gastr del Sol.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 6 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had heard about Gastr Del Sol from an avant garde friend. When I picked up the CD, I really didn't know what to expect. What I got was nothing short of a masterpiece. UPGRADE AND AFTERLIFE incorporates electronic noises, delicate piano, and acoustic guitar, plus a plethora of unidentifiable sounds. The seven tracks are unique and wonderful. "Our exqusite Replica of 'Eternity'" begins with a delicate piano, veers off into noise hell, and ends quietly. "Rebecca Sylvester" uses vocals, acoustic guitar, and some drone to create a beautiful song. "The Sea Incertain" is an instrumental track which incorporates some steam noises. "Hello Spiral" begins with a butchered sound collage, then starts off on a piano. "The Relay" and "Crappie Tactics" both use eerie piano and synths. The final song, "Dry Bones....", is a wonderful and trancey cover. If you like avant garde experimental music, buy this Gastr album. You can't go wrong.
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