24 December 2016


130701 2016

"stunning new album from Vancouver-based vocalist / composer following two critically lauded back to back albums for Recital Program... a trained operatic vocalist who combines his voice with analogue synthesizers, reel-to-reel machines, and faulty tape decks to create sublime cascades of unpredictable decay and beauty. Fundamentally distressed yet texturally lush, Centres is an immensely deep, rich and rewarding listen. recorded in an assortment of studio and other locations across his Vancouver hometown: in concert halls and classrooms; train-yards and live rooms, as well as Craig's own home. created using a mixture of sources - synthesizer, Hammond organ, guitar, accordion, wire recorder, loop station, Craig's array of re-purposed tape decks and 'cassette choir'. manipulating tape loops through two or three decks at once to create strange deteriorating delays with different colors. Craig would then circuit-bend the bias to create odd kinds of distortion, or bend the sound back into itself so it feeds back in unpredictable ways." - IAN WILLIAM CRAIG's bandcamp

CENTRES really is a masterpiece - CRAIG's singing both as "voice" and as "instrument" is fantastic, filtered through lord knows what, though i must admit i am not a fan of that pure autotune sound - i rather despise it indiscriminately - thankfully it only rears it's ugly head on the first portion of the first song (which is still a great song) but eventually i concluded this setback amounts to little in light of the significance i find in this album, where a classically trained weirdo blogospheric experimentalist strikes out into the brutal barren wasteland of modern pop music and brings back an unforgiving formless block from which he sculpts this, his magnum opus, his david - it is the best possible evolution of modern pop music into post pop, if you will, not unlike what GROUPER did to folk with DRAGGING A DEAD DEER UP A HILL or JEFRE CANTU LEDESMA did to shoegaze with LOVE IS A STREAM, except CENTRES is more profound to me - this year has had more than its fair share of deserving #1 album of the year contenders for me, but i surrendered the notion to CENTRES in complete supplication before i had even finished my first listen