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Crowded Out Memory (Gneiss Things) CDr

Synthesizers are everywhere these days, replacing laptops and pedal arrays as the avant-garde musicians’ instrument of choice. Not that I’m complaining. I dig retro-futurism as much (or more) as the next person and there’s some sterling music to be found (amidst, admittedly, a sea of noisy, jam-bandy dreck) by the likes of Keith Fullerton Whitman, Emeralds, and Caboladies. The latter are one of the more underrated of the lot (a recent show here in Boston was certainly woefully underattended).

While many of their compatriots reference quirky early synthesizer experiments and drones, or Klaus-Schulzean krautrock, Kentucky’s Caboladies hew to the siren’s song of a less distant past. They have even been known to indulge in a little dystopic, idmesque crunchiness upon occasion—though, admittedly, there’s none of that to be found on Crowded Out Memory. Released on Gneiss Things (a label run by Emeralds), Crowded Out Memory is gurglingly trippy as all get-out. It’s also thick with melody and subtle rhythmic details. Though it has a certain oneiric looseness to it, by the end of the interrelated tracks, you realize that it’s rather smartly and subtly put together. A quite excellent trip indeed. Run, don’t walk.

-Susanna Bolle


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Great review. This is seriously a great record. I’m also really enjoying the new self-titled Imaginary Softwoods (a member of Emeralds). Lots of terrific synth-based drone out there these days.