ACE/Andy’s Car Crash

ACE

Mawa Seki

Pandemonium

Andy’s Car Crash

Formes

Pandemonium

ACE and Andy’s Car Crash both share a record label and a healthy sense of experimentation. While Andy’s Car Crash falls farther on the abstract end of music, ACE toys with and deconstructs an established idiom, which makes their Mawa Seki such a treat.

ACE stands firmly in the avant-rock end of the spectrum. Theirs is a blend of technical precision with a love of skewed structures and dense instrumentation. Never content with firm footing, ACE interrupts phrases with jarring guitars and discordant samples. The drums clatter under the two basses (one acoustic and the other electric), clarinet, sampler, guitar, and occasional vocal. “Pop Song” is anything but, with its freely improvised introduction preceding a twisting, turning, ever-changing beast of a song. “Tek’no” sounds ever so slightly like the amorphous Pluramon, sharing their sense of openness and placement, but scorching like Pluramon never does. Occasionally, the density and heavy layering of so many elements becomes overwhelming, but then again, so does the Birthday Party’s. Mawa Seki is refreshing in their warping of the rock idiom and reaches far beyond the gentle manneredness of so many “post-rock” bands

ACE’s focus makes them so admirable; their constant reinvention of the song structure makes for such interesting listening. Unfortunately, Andy’s Car Crash doesn’t have the same focus, and Formes occasionally suffers for it. Nevertheless, it’s quite a listen. Andy’s Car Crash dispenses with the song form totally and instead aims for atmospherics. Stuttering synths collide with caustic samples, usually over a rhythmic backing of some sort, whether they are beats or a repeated sound. They do the moody drum n’ bass thing so well, I just wish it was for longer than two minutes. The title piece is a 20-minute epic that builds in intensity from slowly chiming guitars, bass and drums to a dense cloud of rich textures recalling the most bombastic moments of Godspeed You Black Emperor! Although occasionally inconsistent, Andy’s Car Crash has produced a highly listenable collection of textures and constructions that exceed what normally passes for quality within the darkly atmospheric world.

Pandemonium Records, c/o Kinetic Vibes, B.P. 64-13192 Marseille Cx. 20 France, http://www.pandemoniumrecords.com, filth@pandemoniumrecords.com

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