Rafter - Sex, Death, Cassette (Asthmatic Kitty - Release Date 1.22.8) by Eric Nielsen 1.15.8
Full of flavor flav, stacked deep with 19 vignettes of life inside Rafter's circus mind, Sex, Death, Cassette is everything you could hope for. Claps, gentle melodies, beautiful breaks, and singy-sing songs grace the airs as the record gently puts you into a whimsical deep sleep. It transports you through it's stuttered drums and gentle whisper vocals into a cacophonous circus that alternates between acid-tinged realia to off-kilter love-warble nostalgia.
From the grab bag of intrumentation, any sound could come at any moment. The positive message comes between the horns under a subtle wash of tweak-tinged effects, into words exclamated with joyful buzzing, squaking and before you know it, the song is over and another gentle epic proclaims itself.
Big made little. Underplayed mostly, hidden in simplicity, camoflauged in silky sounds, the meaning and magic of the mysticism lies under a bubble wave of broken instruments and backwards tracking. Inviting with the gentle, gentle sweet lyrics, you dig through the pile of tricks to find the spirit.
There's nothing else like this album in San Diego. It's complex yet simple, passionate but subtle, spiritual yet playful, poppy with post-pop. It's rich and elegant and played down and around. It circumvents so many genres and sounds. I hear Yo La Tengo, Stereolab, Archers of Loaf, The Beatles, Soul Junk, and the commercial jingle in this pallette of sounds.
Some of the songs are so damn great, like "Tropical" with a gentle mantra of "wake up before you die my friend". I've been listening to the new Sunn O))) album Oracle today and this ablum is a fitting bookend to my day's listening.