Monday, March 15, 2010

Reviews:: The Consulate General Person Number

Alex Chen is a man that sees beauty in what most of us take for granted or chose to avoid. Whether it's his visual art or his music, he searches for inspiration in areas most people walk past with our heads down and consumed by our complaints and complacency.

That's why when Alex sent over his solo work - under the moniker The Consulate General - it wasn't surprising to hear that he took another step back from the minimal electro-pop his creates as a member of Boy in Static. Gone are the stabbing strings and uptempo, intricate programmed beats that grabbed your ear and without question, the journey he makes as The Consulate General, albeit just as meticulously arranged, seems more personal and introverted.

The record moves at a reserved pace, almost as if Chen is afraid to speed his gate and miss something. From the opening moments of What Time is it Now - the terrific duet with Antoine Bedard (Montag) - until the closing note, Chen uses playful instruments like the triangle, toy pianos, and chimes to support his vocals, strings and programming, but never gives in the temptation to crank up the BPM and rely on energy to win over the listener. The result is you have a chance to focus on the incredibly personal admissions he offers up (Have You Seen My Girl would get lost without the melancholic composition he attaches to it).

That's not to say he doesn't fuse tracks with enjoyable juxtapositions that will charm his audience, he just approaches the conquest in a more one-on-one way. The strings he throws into the IDM heavy 65 or Older gives the track a symphony feel that carries over nicely to picked strings that balance out the heavier bass he experiments with on Half-Day Honeymoon and the delightful Sweet Solano, but the songs won't transfer to party atmospheres or even sunshine filled day. No, Person Number is created for headphones and uses (and almost requires) all 13 songs to let Chen express himself and draw you in, and while understated the results are interesting, accessible and surprisingly engaging.

MP3:: The Consulate General ft. Montag - What Time is it Now

Labels: Montag, , , The Consulate General

Posted at 7:24 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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