Friday, March 6, 2015

Unmanned Ship on Maximum Pelt Records

The three guys from Unmanned Ship out of Chicago have hit upon a unique combination. You would think every last sound has been wrung out over magnetized tape or burned into shiny plastic but then something like this comes along that reminds me of the discipline and technique of instrumental post stuff like Don Cab and the bonkers melted digital junkpile of Black Dice AT THE SAME TIME. It should have been done years ago but those two take special sets of skills on their own so of course any attempt to combine them would be madness. Incredible madness.

"Crystal Pepsi" drops directly into a slowly building mess of bizarre tones and sine waves floating by like jellyfish in a future undersea neon jungle, the sort of thing that you wouldn't even be able to explain how they ended up here, and I'm talking about the music. The guitar and cardboard thin percussion with a tight snare works its way out of the digital murk and busts out of it's repetition in a spazz of mathy greatness. It doesn't happen very often but there's nothing like having no idea where this could be headed. The jewels of synth sparkle and Don Cab loops repeat, the drums burst into inhuman clusters of snare rolls like a really concise but subtle Lightning Bolt. (sure - ed) This has the same pent up energy and I'm waiting for the whole thing to implode with in the red overmodulation because they've just been waiting to pounce. Instead they stop exactly all together and the hum of all of those pedals and amps just groans.
B-Side's "Pad Thai Fighter" in addition to being an early contender for song title of the year is now nominated for the instrumentation as well. What was a peek at their process on the A-Side is now a fully developed power equation. They find a cycling bass line to hang the scrolling loops of electronics and higher chorus touched melodies on. I also can't help but think of Tortoise or Pullman if they never had access to live instruments. Don't get me wrong they also don't reference any of these heavy hitters directly either, it's the broad brushstroke of that brutish glitch from the decrepit future and the attention to detail with melody. All those same abstract things that made them all great on their own. The bandcamp is more of the same. Sweet. Jesus.

On forest green vinyl from Maximum Pelt Records

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