Something I've really loved about Relapse lately has been their willingness to expand from their metal roots and work on some truly outer sound. The latest in this proud tradition has been The Album Leaf, a band with a long history in the experimental scene who are back with their first album in six years (And their first with a full band) Spearheaded by visionary, Jimmy LaValle their latest offering, the almighty Between Waves is a sonic adventure that will keep your ears perked up as it leaps from peak to peak.
I love all of the layers going on in this record - the tasteful use of horns, the programmed drums, the synth noises - it all comes together elegantly. The songs feel very organic, marching to the beat of their own drum and regularly showing us that there is a lot of truly exciting stuff happening in the weird world of electronic music. Between Waves is an album that, while dense, doesn't come off as intimidating - inviting you to multiple listens but never leaving you feeling like you are suffocating under a storm of music. Rather it almost feels like Steve Reich - stripped back and building up upon itself.
You've got to love Between Waves as a sonic achievement. While there are certainly are times where I ask myself "Is this actually music?" but to be honest - I don't really care. Jimmy LaValle and company have put together something magical. The way that this record speaks to the spirit is exciting and it shows me that the world of high art electronic music still has a lot of room to grow. There is something endlessly exciting about music like this, especially when the compositions are this strong - so come on in and enjoy the vibes!
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