Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A moment of clarity with Flowchart's "Cumulus Mood Twang"

Somehow I managed to not listen to this album for about six weeks, probably since my last plane ride. It is far and away the best Flowchart album, nestled gently between the Stereolab mimicry of "Multi-Personality Tabletop Vacation" and the semi-deep house junk they'd do later on. The album's first few tracks play around with some two-dollar beats (they upgraded them to more expensive models on later records, to detrimental effect) while adding all the coos and "aaahh"s and "whoa"s you can handle. But in the middle, it makes its push into greatness by settling into a woozy sort of eazy listening shoegaze (in the Tim Hecker/M83 stargazing sense of the word, not in the decibel-crunching guitar attack sense. It peaks, as all albums should, in its final 20 minutes, starting with "Rust a la Glare", a kind of Fila Brazilia/Jimpster late-90's downtempo-d'n'b thing filled with flutes and shit, and yes, you have to namedrop when talking about Flowchart because all their stuff is so ridiculously derivative but it WORKS, in this case spectacularly. The final two tracks, "Icicles and Clipboards" and its intro (more or less) "Grain of Apology", might as well have been titled "To Here Knows When Part II" because that's obviously what they're trying to recreate+remodel, and it's eight minutes of foggy beauty, of holding hands in the rain, of not worrying about anything, and it has to be one of the best dozen or so album closers ever.

Near the end of "Rust a la Glare", at around 8:30 AM on Monday morning, I realized that we have the tendency to be angry at people or upset with them when they don't act the way you want or expect. Sometimes these feelings last for one day and are quickly forgotten (because you never see that person again) and sometimes they last for weeks or months or years. There are people in Israel that I've only known for a few weeks and they're wonderful guys and gals but part of me is already starting to resent them for things they have or haven't done (things that don't necessarily have anything to do with me). And for what? For stupid reasons, that's what.

I feel better now. This music is good for that.

1 comment:

Konstantin said...

hey there, i've been searching for flowchart's 'multi personality tabletop vacation' and your blog seems to be the only one to mention it. i was wondering if you had mp3s of it, and if so, if you wouldn't mind sharing?
if you could email me at violentgrind (at) msn . com, that'd be wonderful.