Monday, November 10, 2003

Junior Boys

I’m really loving Junior’s Boys Last Exit. Give it a listen here. Taps into vain of synth-pop nostalgia I can’t quite peg yet. The best I can come up with is OMD’s Souvenir and maybe David Sylvian circa Secrets of the Beehive. A dry, soft croon bathed in even softer billows of sonic breeze and all resting atop a pillow of dubbed rhythms that would do King Tubby proud. And that bass! It might be what, in the end, carries this song over into classic territory. It’s that sumptuously thick analogue bass Derrick May made so famous on his classic techno track, Nude Photo, only here it’s brought way out front in the mix, tightly clipped and shorn of anything but the silkiest groove.

Fennesz’s remix is definitely worth listening to as well. It, too, is a classic, completely overhauled but still evocative of the original and maybe even better. The billows are granulated, the bass made a cavernous thud and the vocals outlined in tin. A burst of guitar (which has been quietly residing in the background all along) rises to the front of the mix about 2 minutes in and blossoms into a wall of feedback that quite simply rocks. It’s perhaps de rigueur (let alone banal) to compare such glorious walls of guitar feedback to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, but if anybody has done more over the last few years to take up where Kevin Shield’s left off in continuing the exploration of the near endless possibilities and rewards of processing the shit out of guitars, it’s been Christian Fennesz. My favorite moment comes around the 3 and a half minute mark, when another burst of guitar feedback heralds the introduction of an accoustic guitar strum that turns the song into an anthem. It's like the sun shining through an unexpected, fleeting opening in a thick settlement of November cloud.

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