Friday, March 2, 2012
Knifight / Art Institute split - self released
Got this one in from the guys in Art Institute who put out this split together with Knifight. Being self released I got to hand it to these guys they went all out making this a really cool object on top of this totally nuts direction they're both pursuing together.
I remember a time when you would get a massive zine in the mail, full of stapled pieces, flattened pennies, coupons, and sifting through all the crazy junk trying to make sense of it....and being a little scared at the autopsy clippings from a medical textbook. Like going through that Godspeed album, these guys really brought all that back for me here. The tiny manilla envelope with a dossier of double sided color index cars of blacked out, classified material, semi lyric sheets, jumbled web sites, blurry UFO pictures. It's bringing back that scary feeling of how real some of this stuff seemed before the internet. I could really see how crazy it would be to start developing a personal mythology behind a single image and becoming way too obsessed with a hidden truth...out in my desert mobile home. These guys have captured all of that in the style of this split single, the electronics, the promise of the future, not so broken yet.
Knifight's track "Fell in Love with a Cyborg" is tapping into an '80s Max headroom, Herbie Hancock rocket, Marc Almond kind of electronics with a tough Peter Murphy serious trained vocalist. Heavy hitting drum machines, buried chorus guitar, honestly there's no one putting together something exactly like this. As much as there's Soft Moon or Blank Dogs exploring those dark places of analog electronics, no one is working as authentically as these guys, pitch perfectly recreating the sounds...the whole atmosphere of those neon laser grid days and for that I immediately have to give them credit. The vocals are working on that overlapping chorus, the whole thing kind of emulating what a massive pop hit should have been in the Phil Collins '80s... and then somehow doing it's own individual thing. A second track of layered backewards masked tracks, samples, lots of subgenius style collage mess, and this thing is over...an alternate title printed in german, (nice Kraftwerk nod) with a mystrious latitudinal longitude address I can't figure out, and secret scrawl in the gutter....all of which you should decipher on your own. No spoilers.
"Alien Love Song" from Houston based Art Institute, is going on like the god damn Men at Work, in another completely accurate Gary Numan style, wiring those electronics in artpunk style like The Units for gods sake, it's not ironic or with a sense of humor. I love this fucked up stylized guitar that completely transports you out of 2012, (which should sound weird, we're already in the future) but this sound is that nostalgic representation of the future. The old Omni magazine. All the wrong things about it. How did they do this today? And how are they going to compete with these bands doing such a half ass job of this? I mean they aren't doing anything ground breakingly original, except when you realize when this was made... and then, holy crap it completely is. Makes sense maybe coming out of Houston the same way that when I go back home to upstate NY it feels like it never got past 1995. Is's a period piece.
The sleeve is a million different artist renderings of UFO's...it's ridiculous. They are the Man or Astroman version of Deadbolt...sick. They know exactly what they're doing, and it isn't cool...and that's why my coffee is dribbling down the front of my shirt. What are thee guys thinking? They've taken this joke way to far.
Get this one from the dudes over at the Art Institute, check out das bandunkamp.