Thursday, January 20, 2011
BLÆRG - Everything Was Altered (2011)
Drill and bass is a genre that hurts mine anus. It's a genre that has the potential to be pretty amazing, but many artists out there are content to show you how many snare rushes they can pull off in the span of 3 minutes, while the musical backing sounds like a bunch of amateurish synths that were placed there for no particular reason. Because of that, I felt very uneasy before I first played Everything Was Altered. Thankfully the album was an enthralling experience. It's not everyday someone makes an intelligent drill and bass album that doesn't piss you off. Let's enter BLÆRG.
What does the dude sound like? Well, for the most part he relies on tasteful drum samples and has more fills than your stretched arsehole. His basslines sound like a classic analog synth that was programmed by Jaco Pastorius, and the atmospheric pads sound like they were pulled directly from a zen master's meditation session. The album feels like a very futuristic jazz album - it's what kids of the year 2400 would listen to while wearing gay fuckin' clothes while doing gnarly stunts on their hoverboards. You could compare this experience to a more ambient version of Squarepusher's Hard Normal Daddy. The difference being that the production is a lot better and the album doesn't feature Squarepusher's pretentious moments where he just makes a 7 minute song which is a bunch of "Bzzzzzzzzzzt...ROWROWRPTROWBZZZZZZT". This is a very thought provoking release, and at 29 minutes, it's very comfortable. Some people might wish the album was longer, but fuck that. If this album was an hour long, or even longer, I'd not like the album as much at all.
For those of you who have played Metal Gear Solid 2, for some reason I was reminded of that while listening to this album. I dunno, the album just has some warm Asiatic vibes to it at times. I would go so far as to say that this is a drill and bass album you could sleep to, even. It's unintrusive, yet it fires up those synapses like it ain't no thang. It's very profound stuff. It may sound really stupid, but for an album that sounds so machine like, it sounds very human. I wouldn't say that it's an easy thing to achieve, but BLÆRG pulls it off effortlessly. Definitely a 2011 album you must listen to.