Atlas Sound Live in Lisbon

Say that you're Bradford Cox [myspace]. You've already released one of the albums in the year with solo project Atlas Sound's debut full-length Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, your band Deerhunter's newest Microcastle (another triumph) is in the can and now you're asked to open up for your musical heroes Animal Collective in Europe. So, what does the prolific frontman do? Take it easy and play the new Atlas Sound album with the new band he got together who are probably just now really gelling with the material? Nahhhh. He drops the solo band, packs up the sampler used by said heroes, and emulates them in the same venues they're about to play. Atlas Sound is more gentle and airy than Deerhunter, and Cox's sound had already drawn comparisons to Panda Bear and Animal Collective, but the aping that takes place (in this set at least) here is astounding for one reason: he makes it his own and makes it work. There are times in this set when his voice and guitar and sounds are whooshing through the Roland SP-404 sampler (I confirmed it w/ flickr pics, it's the glue to Animal Collective's sound) and assorted effects pedals, and if you didn't know better you couldn't be blamed for thinking it was a Panda Bear solo set. And this is no easy feat - I don't know how much Cox used a 404 before this tour, I know he's well used to samplers, but Panda Bear has talked about having to completely relearn how to write songs after getting one (it's also the lynchpin to El Guincho's AC-similar sound). To add an extra unknown to the musical equation, AC's Avey Tare wrote on the blog entry for his micromix: ""Bradford and i have been writing lines for each other to sing in the sets on this tour. Puts a little trickery into the improvized parts of our set ill say." And then, just as Panda Bear's Ma Fama session last year ended with an untitled song-of-the-year, Cox does it, too. And not just that one, but five of these seven songs are either brand new or improvisations that the Deerhunter forum hadn't even heard yet, clearly showing Cox's sheer determination to stretch himself as an artist, and leaving me wholly impressed. And as soon as this small tour was over, without a break he was on the road with Deerhunter promoting Microcastles.

HUGE thanks to the guy who recorded this show, Stutter at Dime. He also recorded the Animal Collective set afterwards, which can be found in its lossless flac entirety here at the Live Music Archive. I won't get into the mp3/flac debate, but he originally didn't want these sets shared in mp3, but was convinced otherwise by my persuasive writing. He's got DPA microphones which are small stereo mics, small enough to wear which may have been what he was doing. Occassionally you may hear like a panning phase/whoosh on the overall sound, that's probably small body movements, or the air conditioner at the venue he hated so much, (edit: confirmed it was the air conditioning in the venue - the AC mixing with the AC) but it's weird how perfectly it fits into the overall sound. They're about 400 bucks, but damn, I think these mics might be what I'm going to look into getting. As soon as the lottery hits. Thanks, Stutter, and to smur89 for the Bradford pic in Dublin from the same European tour.

And out of respect to Stutter's great recording and thanks that he's shared it, I'm including a flac download for this one. If you plan on burning this to CD and aren't familiar with flac, now's a good time to start. Flac is basically compressed CD quality, but without the audio lossage that comes with mp3. Download Trader's Little Helper to convert ("decode") flac into CD quality wav, or there are several free apps that play or convert flac (VLC is always good for playing anything on any platform), google it. And if you want more free live lossless music and don't know where to turn, look here. Thanks again, stutter.

Atlas Sound
Lisbon, Portugal, Lux Fragil




Atlas Sound
Lisbon, Portugal, Lux Fragil

new song 1
new song 2
new song 3
Cold As Ice
On Guard
new song 4
new song 5

if you're not a fan and just curious, start with the last song.

Be sure the Deerhunter blog is in your bookmarks, it's everything you'd think a musician's blog should be: a few frank thoughts and lots of great music. LOTS of music, as in "here's a vocal sample I recorded I thought you'd like"... "here's a free EP"... "here's another free EP of things I miss at home while i'm on tour"... "here's a couple of my dad's favorite songs that I recorded for him"... Every track may not hit a bullseye, but enough do, and I have mothing but the upmost admiration for any artist so willing to share with fans the nooks and crannies of their exploration, warts and all, especially somebody who has a way with playful, primal melody like Bradford Cox does. And besides Avey's, don't miss Geo's and Panda's mixtapes done for the Deerhunter blog while they bused around Europe together (oh to be a fly on that bus, listening to vocal harmonies being traded back and forth), and all the other great music.

Buy Atlas Sound's debut Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel direct from the label, Kranky, on CD and 2xLP

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks, brilliant.