Reviews: Mobius Band & Beautiful Skin

July 20, 2005 at 4:42 am Leave a comment

Sometimes I actually make good on my word.
2 reviews for Skyscraper:

Mobius Band
The Loving Sound of Static

When emo got big and my mail box and the local store’s shelves all became stocked with college level ennui, you just had to begin to wonder where all this shit was coming from. I mean this many bands sounding so similar seemed un-natural. For awhile I just assumed it was seclusion. One little band in each town each actualizing their music at the same time, labels popping up like fungus in running shoes. But after several years of it, it became apparent something more sinister was happening here. How could so many bands simply ignore the fact that they all sounded alike? Finally Jimmy Temberllo shed some light on the situation when he rather blunted said he sees a lot more bands in it for the money now. While we still scoff at the concept of even emo for the money (despite some success for Postal Service, Mars Volta, etc) there is a living in it, and there is popularity. When I hear The Mobius Band this is what I hear, another band trying to make it in the emo circuit like so many jam bands following the Carlison Denison trio around or something. While their production is perfect and “Radio Coup? contains a little glimmer of Radiohead in it, their only real movement towards identity comes with “Philadelphia? a breaks stomper that juxtaposes carelessly primitive electronics with the delicate primordial world of guitar and voice. The melancholy is precious; you kinda wanna hug the band and just sit there. But this whole use of electronic music as a process, as Ghostly #1 Sam Valenti recently put it, is hardly new. What has Barbara Morgenstern or many of Gudrun Gut’s Monika’s label been doing for years? Didn’t Tortoise already prove that software can jam and then made some decent music with it? A recent package from Brazil revealed Sao Paolo’s S.O.L who make trippy pyschedelica with plenty of cd skipping and laptop bounce in the mix. The Mobius Band seem like a bad graft: old ideas, old music, old electronics. I just can’t connect with this. While obviously the next Brian Wilson or something like that will use the laptop in some un-expected way making pop music flow through filters like analog pedals and 16-channel desks it’s not going to come till we learn to use the laptop as an instrument in the process of music and disregard this whole mess called electronica as a whole.

– Andrew Jones

Buy Mobius Band… yeah even though I don’t like ‘m

Beautiful Skin
Everything, All This, and More
Gold Standard Labs

Ahhh… damn you Nick Forte and your addictive “pop? music. Here the Brooklyn laptop-ist/ guitarist and Ross Totino a synth player who cut his teeth in rural brazil twiddle out all the forgotten refuse of glam’s short lived experimental side. This time around some Wyatt, some Frith, and the ever present feeling of Eno and maybe a little of The Winkies play into the formula. Is it kinda annoying? Yeah, it’s a little aggravating at times. Beautiful Skin takes notes from those that rubbed rock the wrong way, and it’s all good. At times you can almost hear the commercial inspirations of England’s 70s rock scene beginning to billow through and then some prog-glammy moog piece comes in slowing down the vocals and reminding you of that all to short lived piece where primitivism was new and no one really carried if you were playing live or through a deathly body of effects and distortion. While so much of 90s music was stripped down or elaborately psychedelic, BS can create loops of primitivism so engaging their repetition is a boon. Ross Totino is heaving synth lines so heavy they chug up into dancey numbers encumbered to bass. Addictive and refreshing with out resorting to the usual “obscure? references. Few bands have explored retro this well, and made us aware of how much the past still has to offer.
– Andrew Jones

Buy Beautiful Skin

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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