This beautifully packaged album opens with a hissy sample of some German children rummaging around before shambling into a Casio keyboard melody that threads its way through field recordings of …what ? A classroom ? Who knows, but if you’re looking for a definitive review of what this album is I can’t give you it. Tracks blend together with cryptic titles, tunes that refuse to meet your eye and messy splashes of backward sound effects that steadfastly refuse to be categorized. If you’re familiar with Benjamin Shaw (and you want to be) then you know that mess and lo-fi and hiss is a large part of his M.O but not all of it. He can put together a song that can break your heart, if he wants, and there are slices of his melodic know how scattered liberally throughout this release, but you have to concentrate hard to become familiar with them.
For me this is an album of anti-music. It’s a challenge to the array of tedious, predictable piano ballads, TV On The Radio wannabes and ululating, beatific fakes that are seemingly everywhere you turn, but it isn’t just defined by what it hates. It’s a lot like a soundtrack to some suburban horror film where commuting is the bad guy, curtain twitching is high drama and the hero never smiles or makes eye contact. It’s probably already too late to buy the CD-R, which is a shame for you, because it came in lovely packaging and I got a lovely cigarette card of a budgerigar, but I advise you to try because for such a self-effacing release it has a lot of character.