Exit Music Review SectionMusic Review Navigation Menu
Some Past's Future

Some Past's Future
(Silber Records)

When listening to Some Past's Future you may find yourself alternately drifting, startled, and downright creeped-out. Remora mixes together drones, shimmering guitars, feedback, keyboards, vocals and other noises into an odd lo-fi stew of sound. Part shoegazer, part horror b-movie soundtrack, part drone, and part just plain weird, it's disquieting at some points and downright soothing in others.

The above paragraph may not make a whole lot of sense, but once you hear the release, things start to sink in pretty quickly. Opening with "10,004," the track moves along with a steady bassline and dour vocals that recall old Joy Division, but instead of a guitar and drums to back it up, several different queasy droning tones provide a haunting overlay to the entire thing. The second track "Collapse" eases things back a bit as a quiet, filtered beat slowly scrapes along and a guitar plays a far-off melody. On "Canadian Trade," a wall of swirling guitars swirl for the first half before breaking down into a low-end hum for the finale.

As on the above tracks, this release is one in which everything is kept fairly simple. Most tracks have only a couple different elements that play off one another, and some tracks strip things down to one lonely element. Like early Labradford, the focus then becomes texture and pure sound of the tracks, and while some tracks provide some nice soundscape elements (like the hazy guitar / strumming bass combo of "Europe Revisited"), it will most likely frustrate most listeners who like a more rich sound.

While many of the tracks on the disc are purely instrumental, about one-third of the disc is comprised of vocal tracks, and while many of them hold the same stripped-down instrumentation, the quality of the vocals themselves range from the aforementioned baritone to nicely recorded and warm ("This Way") to rather nasal and off-key ("Go To California"). On tracks that have more things going on, it's not as noticible, but when it's just vocals and one other instrument it brings out the spare and flat recording of the release even more. In the end, droneheads and minimal soundscape aficionados will definitely find things to enjoy about this release, but at over 20 tracks and an hour of time, it simply treads over the same sound too many times. By the time the excellent closing tracks (which seem to have been recorded with more sound dynamics) roll around, it makes you wonder why they didn't arrive sooner.

Rating: 5.25