Friday, October 23, 2009
Admittedly, all credit for this discovery goes to the amazing Amanda Ash (she actually is amazing, but I do also love alliteration). While catching up on her blog - The Indie Files - I came across some new material from Rae Spoon. Apparently, Rae has been spending some quality time in Berlin lately, and the fruits of his labor are starting to surface.
He teamed up with Berlin sound man Alexandre DeCoupigny to create a beautifully bizarre and moving homage to the Berlin Underground that is equal parts Rae (folk sounds, raw emotion and a love of electronic loops) and Alexandre desire to challenge the listener to digest the notes in countless ways (blips, textures, sounds, samples).
What are You Waiting For? opens with a collection of fragmented conversations delivered over top of surprisingly danceable and heavy beats. It's a brief 90 seconds, but those 90 seconds basically destroy any preconceived expectations you might have had about Spoon's work. To be honest though, it's the super atmospheric and moody U Bahn that really kick started my love of this record. Spoon's emotion powers over an Album Leaf, ethereal slow mover and Alex manages to splice more spoken word into the mix without distracting from the beauty.
There are moments on the record that really sounds like a natural progression from Rae's Polaris longlisted record superioryouareinferior (Won't You Get Lost sounds like a stripped down take of Come on Forest Fire, Burn the Disco Down until the beat takes over and turns it into a dance session) but Alex's fingerprints are all over the effort as well. The Notwist feel of the infectious End of the Line, the perfect accompaniment he crafts for the gripping closer Ghost Train, the interview that starts the playful, Cash inspired, steady as a freight train tribute to the subway line (U Bahn Cowboy) and the spas-matic, chaos filled Doers Don't Wait really prove that the 9-songs are a true collaboration between two gifted artists. It' started out as a commentary on life in Berlin, but it's more universal than that. The snippets of dialog seem poignant, even as I sit here thousands of miles away and Spoon's simple, honest admissions of alienation sound even more powerful over Alexandre's beautifully moody compositions.
Oh, and for all you Halifax-ers reading today, Rae is part of a KILLER lineup playing the Paragon here on November 21st. Rae, Julie Fader, Wax Mannequin and Brian Borcherdt will all be playing sets... so, ahhh, get a ticket... NOW.