Rachel’s

Rachel’s

Systems/Layers

Quarterstick

The press release that accompanies Systems/Layers draws a great deal of attention to how it’s an audio piece of a much larger multimedia whole. I’d be willing to bet that while the completed work (with the theater group SITI) does flesh out a more fully realized vision, it’s likely that ninety percent of the people who listen to the album will never see the finished product. Systems/Layers doesn’t suffer in the slightest because of this and stands, on its own, as an excellent soundtrack to modern urban life.

The album isn’t comprised of “songs” as it is “movements” or “moments.” Instruments and rhythms gradually take to the forefront or sink quietly into the background, ushered around by field recordings of fan-submitted ambient city noises. It’s like walking a block of NYC and committing every sound heard to tape.

At times, the music reaches the stretched, suspended and ominous tone that peppers the Lost in Translation soundtrack. Languid cellos and strung out pianos on the two opening tracks (“Moscow is in the Telephone” and “Water from the Same Source”) set the stage for emotional isolation and searching hopefulness. Rachel’s lets the intimacy shine on a handful of tracks as the disc progresses, most notably on “Singing Bridge” with its big drums and the smoky, Portishead-esque beats of “And Keep Smiling.”

The aspect that strikes me most about this album though is how high class it feels. It feels like chamber music for metropolitan art galleries, too-trendy-for-words restaurants, or maybe even James Bond’s apartment on a Sunday morning. It’s hard to pin down exactly, but for me — a guy whose CD collection still (unfortunately) boasts Live and Stone Temple Pilots discs — it feels like I’m movin’ on up…

Rachel’s: http://www.rachelsband.com/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Alonso Ruizpalacios
    Alonso Ruizpalacios

    Generoso speaks with director Alonso Ruizpalacios, whose dynamic new feature, A Cop Movie, utilizes a unique and effective hybrid documentary style to examine police corruption in and around Mexico City. A Cop Movie was the winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.

  • Sarah McQuaid
    Sarah McQuaid

    The St. Buryan Sessions (Shovel and a Spade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Hearty Har
    Hearty Har

    Radio Astro (BMG). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Junkwraith
    Junkwraith

    A young woman abandons a promising skating career only to be chased by her inner demons.

  • The Slackers / Sic & Mad
    The Slackers / Sic & Mad

    Love I Bring /Cat Prozac (Split 7 inch single on). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    An adaptation of a classic horror story safe for little eyes.

  • Nosferatu
    Nosferatu

    A classic horror tale ends up some place weird.

  • Self Taught
    Self Taught

    Over a ten-year period, punk guitar legend Tim Kerr and his wife Beth used thrift store cameras to document self-taught artists environments. Combined with portraits of the creators, Self Taught is a celebration of artistic spirit.

  • New Music Now 002
    New Music Now 002

    In NMN Episode Two, Ink 19’s Pat Greene picks the soothing, balm-like brain of old friend Matt Gorney (The Civic Minded Five, Jazz in the Bible Belt on WPRK, 91.5 FM, Winter Park, Florida) as the two discuss the album Promises, from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

  • Fun Home
    Fun Home

    A small town funeral director hides a not-so-big secret.

From the Archives