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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

DAVE SMOLEN "Flannel Injection" CDR

I really admire consistency of presentation. Dave Smolen's album is called "Flannel Injection," the disc has a flannel plaid pattern on it, it comes packaged IN flannel, and I am pretty sure Dave himself was wearing a flannel shirt when he handed this to me.

Strangely however, I cant find anything flannel-ey about the sounds herein. In fact, I'd be far more likely to liken the sound to things metallic, electronic, or alien. This conjures up H.R. Giger settings in my mind, much of it sounding like what you'd expect to hear as you made the descent into the heart of some kind of scary, bio-mechanical mothership.

The album starts and ends with more rhythm-based tracks, the first one almost sounding like a drum machine run through effects, the last based on a fast pulsing sound that goes through some very Mincemeat or Tenspeed-like changes. (You might note that, both Smolen and MMOTS coming from the same Philadelphia scene, the influence likely runs both ways) In the middle, the album comes closer to soundscapes, filled with grinding machines, lasers, dripping goo, and mechanical reverb. Rhythmic elements still crop up throughout in the form of pulses, flutters, and very loosely looped sounds. Like the soundtrack to a surrealist, industrial, sci-fi/horror film.

I really like how this is composed as an album, many different tracks with a different sound to each, just less than 30 minutes altogether, opening and closing with the more "catchy" tracks. Makes for great repeat listening. Dave Smolen's performance at I.N.C. was also fantastic, based on many of the same sci-fi sounds, but gradually layering them up into a complex mess.

CDR from Malleable Records.

Dave Smolen live video!

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