Two Lone Swordsmen
Although this release came out over a year ago (and the group has since released another full-length of remixes of this very album entitled Further Reminders), I still feel like I should mention it. It's one of those random discs that slipped through my fingers time after time again, due to various reasons like money constraints (the fact that it wasn't co-released domestically didn't help the situation) or something else. Finally, I got my grubby mitts on the release and once again it's something that I probably shouldn't have put off so long. If Stay Down was an excellent slab of gurgling, thumping electronic treats, then Tiny Reminders finds the group hitting even more of a stride.
I've said it before and I'll say it again that I think Andrew Weatherall is the shiz. He's been creating interesting electronic music for at least 10 years now and given the sounds on this release, it looks like he has no intention of slowing down. The best part is that instead of getting stuck in any sort of rut, you can easily make out the progression that the group is making, even over the course of one release. By the end of Tiny Reminders (more on that in a minute), they're already stepping in different directions than their liquid sounding electro-beats and making me wonder what they'll conjure up next.
First off, for those of you who enjoy lots of music, the group once again won't let you down. With 19 tracks and 73 minutes of music, Tiny Reminders is anything but. The disc actually starts out in a bit of a strange spot with the first (of which there are three) of the album titled tracks "Tiny Reminder No.1." It slithers along with sort of a dark, murky ambience before the blips and bleeps (and absolutely rumbling low end) of "Machine Maid" roll it and get the album humming right along. The next three tracks keep things moving at just the same clip as well, as "Neuflex" drops a bit more of an electro feel and "Death To All Culture Snitches" clicks along with another thumping beat and noises that sound like tesla coils being warmed up.
From there, the album sort of shifts gears a bit. "Very Futuristic" is a tongue-in-cheek track that lurches along with a clunky feel while "Tiny Reminder No.2" again takes sort of a dark ambient feel. Although some bigger beats again make their way onto the disc (the chirpy, playful "The Bunker" is one of the best on the disc), the group starts moving into other areas as well. "Section" moves along with more of a hip-hop beat while "Rotting Hill Carnival" mixes some rather dark tones with a chunky beat for a midtempo delight.
It's the two album closing tracks where the group show some of the most promise on the release, though. "Forevereberb" lays out some lo-fi sounding, buzzing beats over a huge low-end pulse and some drones while "It's Not The Worst I've Looked, Just The Most I've Ever Cared" mixes some murky guitars and almost live drumming sounds (including kettledrums) into an odd, yet highly satisfying track. Perhaps the remixing of groups like Calexico (on their Even My Sure Things Fall Through release) is rubbing off some more organic sounds on the group. Even though the group tries more different styles than they did on their last disc Stay Down, it doesn't feel like they're stretching their boundaries at all. If anything, I'm excited to hear even more new material from them (especially if they continue to add new elements).