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