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Over the past seven years, Public Memory's distinctive use of analog synthesizers, electronic beats mixed with organic percussion, lo-fi sound design, and gritty ambience has created a singularly eerie and shadowy world.The first seconds of Public Memory's new record, Elegiac Beat, thrust us immediately into that world. We are in media res, with a feeling of sudden movement from a sensible point A to B. Given some time however, we realize that there is something askew-a bit of brightness here, some shadows pushed aside, some jazz and funk amongst the dub and Krautrock. This is an unfamiliar, ambiguous mood that pushes Public Memory towards new ground. We still drift past the clouded lights and hollowed out buildings of previous albums, but with an occasional bounce in our step now, a bit of golden haze around the edges.First single "Savage Grin" cements this clearly. The track has a jazzy, trip-hop flavor, albeit filtered through Public Memory's narcotic, hazy lens. We could be in a hotel lounge in the alps somewhere on holiday, or out of time in a majestic, sparkling ballroom. But we still have the feeling of being haunted, or perhaps even hunted in some way. This feeling intensifies and comes to a head towards the ever-darkening end of the track, leading directly into "Afterimage", in which someone almost imperceptibly sings "I hear them coming" in a twisted, auto-tuned flail.Second single "7 Floor" begins with flanged drums and damaged synthesizer stabs, evoking a kind of apparition floating towards us in the mist. As the track moves on there is, similarly to "Savage Grin", a contrast in feeling between a cold exterior roaming and an interior, warmer, human place. This time however, we move from the colder to the warmer as the synths from the track's beginning make way for a Rhodes-style organ and backing string synth, infusing an unexpected sense of peace. But like "Savage Grin", the track moves to it's end through an in-between place beyond the haze. Faded and distant synthesizers meld with voices-human, or perhaps otherwise-that beckon us, or perhaps warn us. We can't be sure which.Third single "Far End Of The Courtyard" brings us closest to classic Public Memory territory with hip-hop beats, chopped and screwed samples, lo-fi ambience, and ghostly electric pianos complementing the vocals. There is darkness, perhaps more here than in the previous two singles, but with a crucial moment of uplifting lightness so subtle it may be missed upon first listen. As an inverse to both "Savage Grin" and "7 Floor" we end with brightness, the jazzier side of the record pushed to the forefront as the track fades away on that golden haze. In the end though, the haze may be just that: a vapor, a mist, a slight dusting of some other world on top of the degraded one Public Memory so effectively portrays.Elegiac Beat is between two places, and as it straddles the line between the two, we are uncertain if the light it brings shines directly from the sun, or if it is dimly reflected through that majestic ballroom world. For fans of 1990s Bristol trip hop, coldwave, and Thom Yorke's The Eraser.
Over the past seven years, Public Memory's distinctive use of analog synthesizers, electronic beats mixed with organic percussion, lo-fi sound design, and gritty ambience has created a singularly eerie and shadowy world.The first seconds of Public Memory's new record, Elegiac Beat, thrust us immediately into that world. We are in media res, with a feeling of sudden movement from a sensible point A to B. Given some time however, we realize that there is something askew-a bit of brightness here, some shadows pushed aside, some jazz and funk amongst the dub and Krautrock. This is an unfamiliar, ambiguous mood that pushes Public Memory towards new ground. We still drift past the clouded lights and hollowed out buildings of previous albums, but with an occasional bounce in our step now, a bit of golden haze around the edges.First single "Savage Grin" cements this clearly. The track has a jazzy, trip-hop flavor, albeit filtered through Public Memory's narcotic, hazy lens. We could be in a hotel lounge in the alps somewhere on holiday, or out of time in a majestic, sparkling ballroom. But we still have the feeling of being haunted, or perhaps even hunted in some way. This feeling intensifies and comes to a head towards the ever-darkening end of the track, leading directly into "Afterimage", in which someone almost imperceptibly sings "I hear them coming" in a twisted, auto-tuned flail.Second single "7 Floor" begins with flanged drums and damaged synthesizer stabs, evoking a kind of apparition floating towards us in the mist. As the track moves on there is, similarly to "Savage Grin", a contrast in feeling between a cold exterior roaming and an interior, warmer, human place. This time however, we move from the colder to the warmer as the synths from the track's beginning make way for a Rhodes-style organ and backing string synth, infusing an unexpected sense of peace. But like "Savage Grin", the track moves to it's end through an in-between place beyond the haze. Faded and distant synthesizers meld with voices-human, or perhaps otherwise-that beckon us, or perhaps warn us. We can't be sure which.Third single "Far End Of The Courtyard" brings us closest to classic Public Memory territory with hip-hop beats, chopped and screwed samples, lo-fi ambience, and ghostly electric pianos complementing the vocals. There is darkness, perhaps more here than in the previous two singles, but with a crucial moment of uplifting lightness so subtle it may be missed upon first listen. As an inverse to both "Savage Grin" and "7 Floor" we end with brightness, the jazzier side of the record pushed to the forefront as the track fades away on that golden haze. In the end though, the haze may be just that: a vapor, a mist, a slight dusting of some other world on top of the degraded one Public Memory so effectively portrays.Elegiac Beat is between two places, and as it straddles the line between the two, we are uncertain if the light it brings shines directly from the sun, or if it is dimly reflected through that majestic ballroom world. For fans of 1990s Bristol trip hop, coldwave, and Thom Yorke's The Eraser.
792105762692
Elegiac Beat - Custard Yellow [Colored Vinyl] (Ylw)
Artist: Public Memory
Format: Vinyl
New: Available $24.98
Wish

Formats and Editions

DISC: 1

1. Clocktower E'Poque
2. Savage Grin
3. Afterimage
4. Cruel
5. 7 Floor
6. The Spider Starves
7. No Shadow
8. Far End of the Courtyard
9. Tall in My Room
10. CPL 593H

More Info:

Over the past seven years, Public Memory's distinctive use of analog synthesizers, electronic beats mixed with organic percussion, lo-fi sound design, and gritty ambience has created a singularly eerie and shadowy world.The first seconds of Public Memory's new record, Elegiac Beat, thrust us immediately into that world. We are in media res, with a feeling of sudden movement from a sensible point A to B. Given some time however, we realize that there is something askew-a bit of brightness here, some shadows pushed aside, some jazz and funk amongst the dub and Krautrock. This is an unfamiliar, ambiguous mood that pushes Public Memory towards new ground. We still drift past the clouded lights and hollowed out buildings of previous albums, but with an occasional bounce in our step now, a bit of golden haze around the edges.First single "Savage Grin" cements this clearly. The track has a jazzy, trip-hop flavor, albeit filtered through Public Memory's narcotic, hazy lens. We could be in a hotel lounge in the alps somewhere on holiday, or out of time in a majestic, sparkling ballroom. But we still have the feeling of being haunted, or perhaps even hunted in some way. This feeling intensifies and comes to a head towards the ever-darkening end of the track, leading directly into "Afterimage", in which someone almost imperceptibly sings "I hear them coming" in a twisted, auto-tuned flail.Second single "7 Floor" begins with flanged drums and damaged synthesizer stabs, evoking a kind of apparition floating towards us in the mist. As the track moves on there is, similarly to "Savage Grin", a contrast in feeling between a cold exterior roaming and an interior, warmer, human place. This time however, we move from the colder to the warmer as the synths from the track's beginning make way for a Rhodes-style organ and backing string synth, infusing an unexpected sense of peace. But like "Savage Grin", the track moves to it's end through an in-between place beyond the haze. Faded and distant synthesizers meld with voices-human, or perhaps otherwise-that beckon us, or perhaps warn us. We can't be sure which.Third single "Far End Of The Courtyard" brings us closest to classic Public Memory territory with hip-hop beats, chopped and screwed samples, lo-fi ambience, and ghostly electric pianos complementing the vocals. There is darkness, perhaps more here than in the previous two singles, but with a crucial moment of uplifting lightness so subtle it may be missed upon first listen. As an inverse to both "Savage Grin" and "7 Floor" we end with brightness, the jazzier side of the record pushed to the forefront as the track fades away on that golden haze. In the end though, the haze may be just that: a vapor, a mist, a slight dusting of some other world on top of the degraded one Public Memory so effectively portrays.Elegiac Beat is between two places, and as it straddles the line between the two, we are uncertain if the light it brings shines directly from the sun, or if it is dimly reflected through that majestic ballroom world. For fans of 1990s Bristol trip hop, coldwave, and Thom Yorke's The Eraser.
        
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