Friday, May 11, 2018

Prurient, "Rainbow Mirror"; Autechre, "NTS Sessions 1-4"

Is it safe to say that there are more niche markets in music than ever before?  These two releases are great examples of that.  I read the Pitchfork review of "Rainbow Mirror" and was immediately sold on the album, even though it didn't get a very good review.  The author of the review, Louis Pattison, completely understands his role as the informed party who is preaching to the converted.  His review won't attract new fans to Prurient's music.  He's the conduit who transmits information to existing Prurient fans about the album's background and  a general idea of what is sounds like.  The rating attached to the review is irrelevant.   Their fans need to know that they're getting three hours of live, improvisational Prurient in an old(er) school abrasive noise style.  

I agree completely with Pattison's review.  You can go about your business with this music in the background and it won't demand your concentration.   I largely stopped buying this kind of music years ago because I'd go to the live shows where the sound envelops you from all directions as you sit frozen in silence in some darkened room.  Then I'd buy the CD and it would sound so ordinary outside of that environment.  Still, "Rainbow Mirror" is about the concept of the three hour live behemoth, close listening is probably unnecessary.  "Buddha Strangled in Vines" is the clear highlight though, an 80's proto-everything analog industrial epic, like to Depeche Mode's "Pipeline" meets "The Hills Have Eyes".


The Autechre:unfiltered era is turning into quite the highlight reel.  Continuing where "Elseq 1-5" left off, "NTS Sessions 1-4" features eight hours of wild jams and technological oddities.   Fifteen minute tracks fly by in what seems like five, and the mind-bending repetition that made "Elseq" so hypnotic and addictive is found here in spades.  I found Session 2 to be a bit punchless, but Sessions 1 and 3 were fantastic, and Session 4 features the ridiculously great "all end", a 58-minute sprawl of shimmery ambience that many people are comparing to Gas.  It'll take eons to truly absorb all of this content, but Autechre haven't been this interesting in at least a decade and a half.

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