Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dirty Projectors - Rise Above (wow)

Now the guy who got me a copy of this was saying that it was something pretty special and that it had really excited a lot of people that had heard it, but as a cynical bugger I thought it might just be excitable bluster. However Rise Above is one of the most intriguing and unforgettable records to come out this year. Dirty Projectors is David Longstreth, a Brooklyn native making some of the most bizarre sounds i've heard in a long while. This is his fifth record in almost as many years; i've no idea what the others sound like but if they're anything like this then I'm pretty darn interested. His work on this LP takes in the organic fluidity of Animal Collective's Feels record, the lo-fi insanity of Ariel Pink, the joyfulness of Marnie Stern's debut, the sort of multi-faceted vocals that you don't hear the likes of just about anywhere else, and a concept that is both original and that works, all tied into a one man aesthetic that recalls nothing less than a Prince or a Todd Rundgren.

The concept is that Longstreth is attempting to recreate the Black Flag classic Damaged using only his memory. This is quite a feat considering his claim that he hasn't heard the band since he was an adolescent. Indeed the vocals are half remembered, the tracklisting completely wrong and you'd be hard placed to find anything that remotely resembles Black Flag style hardcore. Instead we get a really fucking superb display of the man's talents as well as a great trip down a subverted memory lane for those of us that are fans of the original. Production comes from Grizzly Bear and is as lush as you'd expect. My only disclaimer would be to say that although Longstreth's voice is inarguably brilliant, the way he uses it may not be to everyone's tastes. In the words of Bill S. Preston Esquire (or was it Ted Theodore Logan?), you'll see!

It's a record I want to hear again and again. Here's a few songs. The record's out on the 8th October over here on Rough Trade, i'm not sure about elsewhere. There's also gonna be a UK tour around that time. Speaking of Rough Trade, their new superstore is opening in Brick Lane tomorrow, and they're totally and utterly deserving of all the support that we music fans can give them, so make sure next time you're in London you get down there. And enjoy the songs!

Dirty Projectors - Police Story
Dirty Projectors - Rise Above


Blogger Markw said...

Spot on. What a great album. Playing "No More" from it on my August show on Dandelion Radio - listen from 1 August at

4:11 pm, July 20, 2007  
Anonymous Ed said...

and the live band dave has assembled for this project is outstanding.

1:53 pm, July 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the most amazing thing i've heard all year. Possibly for a few years. Thanks!

3:51 pm, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Ryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:02 pm, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Ryan said...

Yeah, i saw these guys live last month and it blew me away, i'd never seen anything like it before. I strongly reccomend catching these guys live if you get the chance.

4:03 pm, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Simon said...

Really original. can't wait to hear them live

4:52 pm, July 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. To me it alternates between boring and unlistenable. Sounds like someone who's so afraid of being "mainstream" that he'll do anything to be different. I bet he can write and create really good songs (this might even be one of them), but then fear of success(?) or maybe "selling out" makes him twist them into this mess. It's like what would happen if you let someone who didn't know what they were doing work the soundboard, except that this is intentional.

6:52 pm, July 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

September 11 here in the States on Dead Oceans--it sucks you have to wait until October for it officially.

4:14 pm, July 26, 2007  
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2:46 pm, July 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear did the flutes, can anyone confirm this?

2:44 am, July 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just kidding it says in the post

2:45 am, July 31, 2007  
Anonymous lyle said...

I found him awful live...

7:20 pm, August 05, 2007  
Anonymous Rembo said...

In resonse to the person lambasting this for being deliberately unmainstream, when are people going to realise that some people actually enjoy this kind of dissonance. Just in the same way not everyone likes a wank guitar solo. Yeah so these people aren't in the majority but they still exist.

The leak of this record has made me fall in love this project, its gonna be ages till its out here annoyingly, but considering I can't stop listening (a rare thing indeed for me with any new record)I sure hope I'm not sick of it by October.

5:15 am, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Yacub said...

Longstreth's version of Police Story is an incredible concept. I first heard him perfom it live and was blown over by the juvenile lyrics (I never listened to Black Flag really). Then someone told me the song source and it really hit me. This guy had taken a vibe from a slightly moronic punk song and turned it into something much more personal and exposed. He increased the power of that song by ten fold. Amazing.

5:17 pm, September 28, 2007  

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