Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Railcars preorder on Gold Robot Records
Hunter at Gold Robot Records sent in a copy of a new single from Railcars which is available now to have a listen to... last time I heard Railcars was on a 12" full length from Stumparumper records, which was an incredibly dense wall of sound with ever rising and fading melodies, this stream of consciousness ambient, packed Eno dream/nightmare.
But this single is a different side of Railcars, featuring two different female vocalists over early tracks and the really interesting part is getting some insight into his live or rehearsal space process, like that Animal Collective Crack Box.
These are extremely raw, and I'm a sucker for demo versions on the seven inch single, it's what they were almost made for. Have another look at a new side of an artist, a place for them to defy their own conventions a bit. This is especially true when reviewing the final result like the Stumparumper full length.
The A-Side, "B's Skeleton" is much more minimal than anything else I've heard from, you get a sense of this tiny physical room on the recording, but also picking out the individual elements of the instrumentation, the array of unique sounds that go in and out with the press of a trigger.
The stuttered cheap drum machine, in an odd formation, along with the organ melody carries this along essentially but Biljana Mirkovski's vocal work has an intensity that comes from being distorted and working in a sort of Portishead sexy whisper. The feedback squeals into the PA and Biljana says, "I'm sorry". Her emotional breathy vocals versus this real exchange between musicians is really interesting. It can all be that much more interesting by subtracting nearly everything but an underwater, distant kettle drum, a kick beat and one organ note. These are great insights into deconstructing Aria's process, the pieces of rhythms that get expanded later, or really taken to this sonic end game he seems to be striving for.
The B-Side "Saints are Waiting" has Dasha Bulatova (I'm starting to wonder if these names aren't part of some kind of pseudonym requirement for being in the band) singing against live drums, and lo-bit synth sounds, but that could be the limitations of the cheap boombox mic in this huge space this time. Again Aria's making full use again of these minimal rhythms and beat patterns. The practice piano on the other side of the room sound brings back those memories of playing alone for a minute when no one else is around to judge.
This track leaves me with a whole lot more respect for Railcars as a grounded melodic act, that full length was almost impenetrably dense, almost overwhelming. It was exciting to pick through the huge pile of sound to find a structure, and it's definitely challenging, but these stripped down live demos are what has sold me on taking quite a few more listens to the longer pieces, hearing the skillful work ethic and raw talent. The compositions and melody, not that it wasn't all there before it's just you wonder a little sometimes how much that aesthetic might be hiding something as much as it's working in entirely new ways
Go preorder this single from Gold Robot Records, even if you're completely unfamiliar with Railcars, it's really experimental and crafty. I respect Aria even more after this quiet, softer, broken down side. Maybe that full length is way beyond what I can even understand, it took this back-in-time demo to catch up.