Sunday, April 10, 2011

The New Breed- Max Tundra

I wanted here to start a new thread of blog posts, The New Breed challenge, where you fellow bloggers and friends of the blog write up pieces about an album, artist or song that demonstrates the combination of two stellar artists/ genres of music into a completely new, unique sound. I have been taking in as much Max Tundra as possible this last week, and, in how i initially reviewed his work, a few things have changed but a few things have stayed the same.

First, i will backtrack and say again how Max Tundra combined the sounds of two of my favorite artists, Squarepusher and Passion Pit, into one new strong sound. While Squarepusher works in a completely instrumental-based level, using incredibly intricate melodic production behind wonderful rhythm arrangements, Passion Pit utilizes a more band friendly, keyboard-and-laptop approach to an electronic band, with wonderfully catchy vocals front and center. The things i have been loving about the Max Tundra album are the songs that really get deep into the combination of these two elements, creating intense electronic instrumentation behind straight forward vocal melodies. I have grown to appreciate this combination so heavily that the extended instrumental sections that Max provides, to me, only take away from the strength of his "Ill Combo" work. Instead of 10 minutes of electronic outros, i would much rather have 2 or 3 more rocking, 3-minute goodies such as Number our Days, off Parrallax Error Beheads You.

My only gripe about this track is the last 40 seconds or so, where it moves into an instrumental section that does not resolve with a refrain of the chorus, or something along those lines. The work before the instrumental outro is so lovely. It starts as a videogame soundtrack, but quickly gets a steady beat and some vocals layed over a bassline, with an expanding videogame soundscape behind it, and intricacy being added to all instruments; then that chorus hits, and everything scales back to give way to wonderful descending vocal lines and tight backing rhythms and harmonies. Those hills and valleys continue for the next verse and chorus, and then in comes fullscale electronic wiling-out madness. Although i have stopped enjoying these instrumental sections as much as i do his vocal work, everything is so well produced that listening to it through, as a complete album, gives some added enjoyment as it all flows very well track to track. I highly recommend it.

parallax error beheads you

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