Thursday, March 4, 2010

Obstacles 'S/T' on Red Tape Records

Red Tape Records alerted me about a couple of their singles they've been releasing lately and this one from Obstacles is amazing in calculated power math intricacy. Instrumental guitar, heavy smacked bass, massive drums, the moments of complete silence, stopping on a dime, they've got it all, and from Denmark of all places. I might have a completely different cultural experience but they've been listening to and loving the exact same things I have their whole lives and writing tracks as good as any of them.

The A-Side 'Others' is full of off-time rhythms, changing main guitar intricate melodies to blow out explosions of stuttered chords. For every moment of it getting metal heavy they really balance it with start and stop moments, brief pauses just to change up the timing again, they don't ever stick to one phrase, it's a hundred conversations happening at once and it's just inspiring.

The B-Side track, 'Essex Man' gets a little help from the sampled pieces of rapid fire bass, the sound that's been resampled to just half a second of a note repeated, machine gun style. That sound is perfect, shellac-y dirty hardly low end, working in the same space as the melodic guitars that are weaving around each other continuously. It's the sort of thing I literally could breakdown measure by measure trying to describe what's going on, but that's's a non stop display of virtuosity.
It actually slows down briefly in a Red Sparrows moment to let the layered melody burst back in. Layers and layers and layers, I'm in awe by the amount of effort it must take to perform this. I'm exhausted just listening to it, and I'm so glad there are bands continuing to work in this direction with this dedication and skill.

It's inspiring me to take another listen to all these bands that I love, The Fucking Champs, Don Cab, Pelican. It's got all those moments, insanely impressive. There's not a sound, not a single lazy note, consistentotherworldly precision. It makes me want to give up playing guitar completely. They could stand up easily against all this stuff, they are just as talented. These three songs have to just be the tip of theiceberg. I want more.

And of course there's just one problem, I don't know where to get this domestically, it doesn't show up in any local distros, I'm going to have to trust the US post won't destroy this. It's such a shining example of this complex math style, it's scary. I don't know who actually sits down to try to tackle this kind of material, it takes a really unique group of people who are so devoted to their instruments and pushing their playing to physical limits to attempt this, let alone pull it off so successfully. It's all their on their myspace, check it out.

Obstacles - "S/T" 7" Out Now!

250 Copies on black vinyl
103 Copies on white vinyl

Hand made labels

Side A: Other(s)
Side B: Happiness Machines
Essex Man

Written and performed by Morten Clausen, Niels-Peder Hjøllund, Jeppe Street Jarlstrøm, Thomas Feltheim..
Recorded by Jakob Reichert Nielsen, Per Chnöeldh, Lars Lundholm, spring/ 2009.
Produced and Mixed by Jakob Reichert Nielsen
Mastered by Daniel Borzeskowski
Artwork by Patrick Ringsborg

Thank you: Jakob Reichert Nielsen, Per Chnöeldh, Lars Lundholm, Daniel Borzeskowski, Patrick Ringsborg, Toke Zandersen and the Red Tape collective, Sune Kaarsberg, Morten Søfting, Jeanette Nordahl, Peter B. Olesen and Björn Bauch at uts,m! booking.

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