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Artist: RAVENSTINE, ALLEN
Title: Waiting For The Bomb
Format: CD
Label: RER Megacorp
Country: USA
Price: $17.00
"Eccentricity in music is tricky in that its difficult to embrace it in moderation. Theres risk of having it come off as either overly (and gratingly) deliberate, or teetering over the precipice into full-blown novelty. Pere Ubu co-founder Allen Ravenstines Waiting For The Bomb is one of these rare exceptions where peculiarity, nuance and genuine warmth align in such a way that its perched right on that edge and all the more evocative because of it. One of the albums most striking and disorienting attributes is its wide and volatile sound palette. Structured episodically, its eighteen vignettes jump between discrete sonic worlds. Dense clusters of raw sci-fi synth noise sit up against soundtracky miniatures while elsewhere, placid ambience emerges from stiff computer funk. Yet as one surrenders to the strange lurching quality of the journey, the uneasiness it produces somehow becomes grounding. Given Ravenstines post-punk pedigree, its unsurprising that this defiant sense of malaise and contradiction isnt just a byproduct of his playful genre tourism. Its actually a key unifying element that even lurks on the periphery of the albums most serene or seemingly innocuous moments. You can hear it in the way that the plasticky squareness of his sample-library orchestrations chafe against live brass and percussion on Spirits. The prickly synthesizer on Venus Calling creeps like toxic fumes through a genteel jazz arrangement. On Insomnia Joe Sorbaras rapid drum kit scatterings punctuate a lugubrious throbbing bed of sound, yet as the ersatz fanfares begin to protrude youre not quite sure whether to be terrified or to laugh--or do both. The records accompanying notes mention Ravenstines childhood, steeped in second-hand Cold War paranoia. Waiting for the Bomb seems to embody that tension perfectly -- a young, unbridled imagination haunted by both the grave threat, and perverse futuristic allure of total annihilation. (Nick Storring)" - RER Megacorp.

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