(Adhesive Sounds, 2015)
It’s a cliché, sure, but is there anything better than the delightful flavor combination barely contained within the monument of foodstuff that is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Is there? I dare you to find one, because you absolutely can’t. Those old television commercials where the chocolate truck crashes into the peanut butter truck were the fantastical moments my dreams were made of. What I wouldn’t give to be one of those dimwitted hillbillies in their pre-combination ignorance! The result of their idiocy was akin to a eureka moment of Einsteinian proportions. And it made me one of the happiest human beings on the planet. Double thumbs up, wink, teeth gleam, Reese’s shill!
Anyhoo, hyperbole (sort of) aside, I mention this phenomenon because this self-titled(ish) EP comes close to matching that exceptional one-two punch: Seeami (chocolate) and Albino Deers [sic] (peanut butter) have come together to create a flavor combination for the ears, a peanut butter cup in cassette form that you’ll be able to savor for ages. (Although I’m gonna drop that metaphor now, I think – I’m getting hungry, and I might just accidentally eat the actual plastic, or worse, provoke some of you to eat the plastic. I really can’t afford another lawsuit along those lines.) You think this is a split? You’re wrong! (That’s why the metaphor was apt, dimwit.) The two artists, Vyvyan Colonna from Rome (Albino Deers … and also Babexo, holy crap!) and Henry Thompson from Wellington, New Zealand (Seeami), collaborated across continents to bring this gorgeous morsel to the masses. Remember it was me that told you about this when it allows you to transcend time and space to meet the spiritual being at the center of creation. Tell it I said, “Hey.”
I think Colonna and Thomson know what they’re getting themselves into when they name the first track off this bad boy “The Creation of Greatness,” because, to be honest with you for a quick sec here (and when am I not, really?), this tape is pretty great. The Albino Deers/Seeami brand is a mix between landscape drone and bedroom ambient, packed with loving crackles and found-sound blemishes, resulting in a tangible and human soundtrack to your psychic projection. “Creation” soars and dips, meditates and weeps, and lays the nostalgia on thick for innocence and simplicity. It’s rainy-city-at-night music, and it’s filled with longing and hope.
Or it’s the sound of a city waking up, stretching, and living as exceptionally as a composition such as “Rome, 5 AM” suggests. Over organ chords that pull the emotions like taffy flow simple melodies that imagine the titular city in time lapse, but feel intimate enough to resonate on an individual level. Yeah, it’s this big, overwhelming place (like life), but if you allow yourself to be caught in the flow of it, you might be pleasantly surprised, or even overwhelmed by beautly (like life). See? Universal themes!
“Hold Me Forever” continues with the romantic ideas of nostalgia and longing already introduced, beginning with a music-box-type melody before being swept up by dramatic synthesizer tones. Add it as incidental music to a 1980s John Hughes movie and you’d never know the difference that it was produced recently. “Be Still” closes the tape with a similar feel – it’s amazing how these two artists pack so much into so little time. Few songs exceed three minutes, and the whole thing’s a c20. Yet there’s a lifetime in here, and it proves that smashing together two incredible artists at the tops of their games is a great idea when it yields results like this. It’s like when peanut butter and choc…. Oh, right. No more of that.
RIYL: Wasted Cathedral, Demonstration Synthesis, Les Halles, Magnétophonique