Burned Up On Re-Entry
Release Date – 28th January 2013
An artist who has been off my radar until now, which is a damn pity as he has been around for a bit. This is his seventh album and the first for Southern Records. The guy behind it all is Mathew Sweet who calls himself Boduf Songs for the purpose of releases. I’ll have to look into his back catalogue on the basis of hearing this album.
The music is challenging, and unpredictable for the most part, which caught my attention immediately. The promo people reckon this album “marks the evolution of Mat Sweet’s sound from the minimalist acoustic approach he has previously taken on his four albums for the Kranky label, to a more adventurous and experimental treatment of his songs.”
I can’t disagree with that analysis. The album hovers between melodic breathy vocalisations over elegiac songs and more off kilter sounds – there are several dynamic layers in the pieces which create a great tension.
The combination the vocals, ambient sounds, raw electronics, manipulated samples and heavy rock guitar make for a variety of aural pleasures throughout. “Fiery The Angels Fell”, the album opener, is a good example of the unique composition style – starting with Mat Sweet’s hushed, mournful vocals and gentle string picks but quickly picking up the tempo as other harder sounds melt over the mix. I was particularly impressed by “Whither Though Goest, Cretin?” which bubbles along nicely over an insistent rhythmic bed and has a hypnotic quality in the spirit of Alan Vega and Martin Rev. The end section is simply put beautiful, as light keyboard tones float over trip-hop rhythms. Another great track is “Long Divider”, which manages to both please this listener and make him feel slightly uneasy as well, with it’s combination of chittering sounds, mournful guitar and dense electric piano patches.
There are examples of pure electronica – “Drexelius Sick Man Quarles Emblemes Closed Heaven” – for example features vocoder manipulations over bongo bounces and metallic percussion with surging string patches…….and in comparison the lengthy “Between The Palisades And The Firmament” dips gently into Post-Rock territory via pastoral prog mores and kraut/psych. Most enjoyable!