“In the last several years, there’s been an explosion of small-scale DIY music,” says the introductory paragraph of the first-ever post at Altered Zones, the Pitchfork-run site featuring contributions from 14 blogs dedicated to covering the outré edges of indie rock, from no-fi bedroom pop to psych, drone and everything in between. The site will begin a normal publishing schedule next Monday, but for the next three days, we get one of PItchfork’s standard slow roll-outs. Each site has picked their favorite track, cassette and album of the first half of the year, with the cassette portion going live tomorrow, and the albums going up on Friday. Today, then, we get the track selections. I’m still making my way through all of them, but standout tracks so far come courtesy Oberhofer, Echo Lake, Mind Spiders and Dead Luke.
What I find myself even more taken with than the songs, though, are the accompanying blurbs, where the team of bloggers proves once and for all how difficult it is to write about any music, let alone music that sounds sort of fucked up and hazy, as so much of the stuff covered here does. They sure do give it their all, though: After the jump, I present completely out of context some of my favorite lines.
“Then there’s that voice to get over— that excoriating, hell-scorched, torture-rack, dream-stalking strangled howl of a voice.”
“…and rather than explode into chaotic waves of climax, it simply melts away into the ether, leaving you wondering what audio specter just transpired.”
“This jam offers two modes of egress: one guitar arching upward like the ceiling of Alhambra, and another driving down toward the center of the earth, hoping to emerge on the other side.”
“Inertia builds quickly, and for the following two and a half minutes, the intelligent body can do no wrong, impressing male and female bodies alike with its handclap-like heart sequence.”
“There was a short period when I thought I’d never hear another song that made that familiar smile grow across my face.”
“It’s drenched in a type of dread that seems both antiquated and ultra modern; maybe he’s found some tear in the cosmic tissue between his voice and the lost ones he tries to summon, maybe he’s just speaking from the heart.”
Surely, if this dude found a tear in the cosmic tissue between his voice and lost ones he tries to summon, it must be worth hearing, right? Right.