Friday, November 7, 2008

Quick hitters:: Dirty Beaches Horror

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There are a few musicians that exist in an entirely different mental place than the masses. Rather than play around with the same chords or the same samples, a select few completely leave the beaten path looking for a new personal journey, knowing most won’t follow or understand. Alex Zhang Hungtai - aka Dirty Beaches – is one of those artists.

When I reviewed his last recordSeaside – I was won over by how Alex was able to combine the sounds of life, the sounds of a lonely traveler, and the sounds you can only get from warbled, lo-fi equipment and make something so personal. Snippets of conversations and minimal loops aren’t going to grab the attention of the masses, but that didn’t affect Alex’s desire to record them. It’s no surprise that a man that travels alone was able to create songs that float by almost unnoticed unless someone takes the time to listen.

His new record, not surprisingly, heads down another path. Alex has forgotten about the multi-tracking that dominated Seaside, and went with a more spontaneous style. Most of the tracks were record in one or two takes and the instrumentals attempt to expose and highlight moods not thoughts. The songs use subtle flourishes and shadows to build tension, but unlike novelty horror flicks, never try for climactic shocks. The songs look at true fear, the type that never goes away and can eventually consume us.

Posted at 7:28 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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