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Style Drift

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Album Review

Skeletal arrangements and tangled tendrils of electronics and more organic instrumentation remain the rule for Fontanelle. And the group's records still sound as if they're the result of painstaking chop-up editing work and extended live jamming. Style Drift, the group's third album in as many years, does see them resorting back to the groove, the key ingredient that made their debut one of the better jazz-influenced post-rock albums of 2000. Their sophomore album, F., often came across as a series of deviations, but that issue is cleared up here, with rhythm often taking precedence over strange synth and keyboard wriggles. "Scissure" is just as spine-tinglingly hypnotic as it is spacious, layered with intricate waves of sound that accentuate the sensitive, propulsive drumming. The 12-minute title track might as well be considered a Megamix that shows off a little of each facet of the group, consisting of patches where electronic doodling, low-key rhythmic interplay, warped drum programming, spidery wah-wah guitar, and relatively frenzied combinations of every element come into focus. The swirling "Red Light, Green Light," another highlight, is painfully brief and could've easily tripled its running length without outstaying its welcome. To Fontanelle's credit, they're never too reverent toward their influences.


Formed: 1999 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Portland's Fontanelle formed in 1998, after the dissolution of Jessamine, guitarist Rex Ritter and keyboardist Andy Brown's previous band. The duo added a revolving lineup that included drummers Michael Faeth and Mat Morgan, keyboardists Paul Dickow (also of Emergency and Strategy) and Brian Foote (who, along with Morgan, is part of the IDM duo Nudge), and guitarist Charlie Smyth. The group's 2000 self-titled debut album was released by Kranky, Jessamine's old home; similarly, Fontanelle's subtle,...
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Style Drift, Fontanelle
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