Monday, March 30, 2009

Reviews:: The Space Between Things Songs About You


Man, talk about getting hit with a wave of lo-fi bliss. Ontario native, Chris Hobson – a.k.a. The Space Between Things – finally released a digital EP, Songs About You, and the blend of static, noise, hiss and melody is remarkably strong. He combines elements that blend into and flow over top of each other (even his vocals shy away from the spotlight, as Hobson keeps them low in the the mix) but never get muddled.

I was listening to the EP this weekend and was quickly won over by the warm textures and white noise he creates, but I couldn’t put my finger on what made these songs stick. Then I read a simple sentence over at It’s Not the Band I Hate, It's Their Fans that really summed it up perfectly:

Too many times have I come across an album that is made to sound like a basement recording, only to be irritated by the fact that the buzz and hiss involved is creating too much of a distraction to be endearing for long periods of time.

Hobson took the time to make these songs lo-fi, but not low rent. He stays true to the aesthetic of a basement session, but doesn’t settle for an unprofessional sound. The result is four songs full of noise and clanks that jut out, but still washes over you with warm, pleasant fuzz. Liquid Thought jump starts the affair, with a pulsing beat and a muffled bass line but Chris throws in just the right amount of chaos to keep the track interesting without becoming disjointed.

The simple guitar that opens Love's On the Run peaks your interest, but it's the melding of fragmented tones that keeps you listening. There is something unsettling that hovers just beneath the surface, leaving you to wonder if Hobson can keep it on the tracks or if it will simply break down. My favorite track is Moving For Protection, which strangely enough is also the most melodic. A warm fuzz balances the acoustic nicely and the taught snare bounces along nicely. He builds the song slowly, letting you settle into the flow of the song before forcing those gentle waves of sound start crashing on the beach.

It will be interesting to see where The Space Between Things ends up... consistently creating lo-fi gems is a tough racket, but these four songs show that Chris Hobson certainly has all the building blocks required to make it work. Again, it's free so what exactly are you waiting for?

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Posted at 5:40 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 8:47 AM, Blogger Bobby B did sayeth:

"Lo-fi but not low rent." Exactly. Great review and I can't wait to hear what else Hobson has in store for us.


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