Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Virtual 7" and EPs - Atlas Sound

Virtual 7" - Vol. 4

Atlas Sound

SCQ Rating: 73%

Most of Atlas Sound's non-Kranky output can be categorized into two camps; the first being a lush electronic bed of warm fuzz and sterile melodies, the second being a humid exposition of distorted glam guitar and Lou Reed drawls. 'Holiday', the lead song of this 7", certainly falls into the latter category, strutting the night sidewalks like 'Activation' but surprisingly better thanks to Cox's cheeky delivery. Although Atlas Sound's debut is one of my favourite records this year because of those complex digital collages, I wouldn't complain in the least if his follow-up was chocked full of these aching guitar jams.

'S.S.C.' swallows the momentum of 'Holiday' completely, introducing us to a wasteland of awkward percussion and burnt-out vocals. Even so, at over six minutes, this track might find you nodding your head in hypnotic refrains if it doesn't drive you insane or bored first. As the newest entry in Atlas Sound's Virtual 7" collection, Vol. 4 marks a middle ground: 'Holiday' is Cox in top form while 'S.S.C.', for all of its aimlessness, still shows Atlas Sound pushing its boundaries and looking for a third sonic camp.

Virtual 7" - Vol. 3

Atlas Sound

SCQ Rating: 83%

A dying drum machine sets the robotic waltz pace of 'Bored Dub', a romantic slow-burner that finds Cox the feather-lite crooner, stating simply "I was so bored with my life / the way things were". Reverb heavy guitar chimes like an angel choir over his half asleep delivery, which gradually multiplies into several vocal loops, each more serene and hypnotic than the last. 'Bored Dub', while not fitting well onto Let the Blind Lead Those..., is an ideal example of Atlas Sound's blog releases; drugged out, spacey, well-rounded and damn sexy.

When 'No Longer's electronic clicks sputter to life, Cox gives us one of his finest bedroom-pop instrumentals. It's repetition makes it sound simple, but the layers overlap as its running-time progresses, leading to a zone-out where guessing how long 'No Longer' actually is might be difficult.

Requiem To All the Lonely Teenagers With Passed Out Moms 7"
Atlas Sound

SCQ Rating: 75%

Yeah, this one actually exists in physical space; I own it! Found it for sale at their merch table after they'd displayed a blistering performance in its honour (at my request!!), and wasted no time in scooping it up. 'RTATLTWPOM' is sensational, it's lethargy perfect for both Cox's lyrical content and the eerie atmospheres, provided by an old keyboard, reminiscent of that same otherworldly spin that made the Cure's 'All Cats Are Grey' so dreamy.

'Cobwebs', on the flipside, is less coherent; a violent reaction to the peace and submission of its counterpoint. All cluttered percussion and distorted vocals, this B-side reduces the impact of the collectors item a bit but contains all the yang to the A-side's ying. Check it out to hear the opposing styles of Atlas Sound.

(No picture was available for this 7" and since my copy is nowhere nearby, I've included the cover of Amsterdam Midi EP.)

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