Saturday, December 02, 2006
Release Date-17 October 2006
Biography-Eddie Alonso, Matt Crum, and Eric Rasco make a wondrous melodic noise as the Miami based trio, Feathers. Self described as “two Cubans and a drunken redneck”, Feathers are a tight little unit specialising in instrumental tunes with roots in Krautrock, French electronic pop, and the sound of 1960’s US West Coast psychedelia (with some dub sensibilities thrown in for good measure). The opening track “Skara Brain”, contains a hypnotic keyboard line that’s aglow with the sound of Ray Manzarek’s snaking runs on the organ when he played for The Doors. The tune moves dreamily along before breaking off into a darker prog rock crescendo, revealing the real beauty of this band and their ability to take a tune and change it’s mood several times within one 3 minute space, even when the basis of the track is a solid motorik groove. Anyone familiar with the work of defunct Sub Pop outfit 5ive Style will recognise these ploys, as will fans of Stereolab, Silver Apples, Can and even Sean O’Hagan’s instrumental passages with The High Llamas. All referencing aside, one cannot ignore the ingredients brought to the table by the ep’s co-producer, mixer and engineer, John McEntire (he of Tortoise, The Sea & Cake and countless others). I’m sure this is why the ep struck an immediate chord with me. It sounds like all my favourite Chicago bands rolled into one, and definitely has McEntire’s masterly signatures all over it. The instrumentation is as varied as the sounds within: marimba, viola, cello, guitars, processed drums and wonderful vintage synth washes courtesy of McEntire and the EMS keyboard. Nothing is overplayed, there are subtle shifts within the build of each tune. The EP’s highlight, “Ap(parenthe)synthesis”, travels like a rhythmic, running robot in a style that Kraftwerk or Neu would be most proud of. Ending with piano and strings, the ep delivers the listener full circle, but with the overwhelming urge to hit play once again from the top to take the ride all over again. It’s really very good. -cyclic defrost
Personal Rating-Using too many instruments isn't a good idea, but this EP is really rare...