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Underarms & Sideways

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Reseña de álbum

4AD's reissue campaign reaches into the slightly obscure territory of the label's catalog with Underarms & Sideways, a luxe, two-disc repackaging of the Hope Blister's 1998 collection of outtakes and reinterpretations of the group's album ...smile's ok that comes with a set of Underarms remixes by Kompakt's Markus Guentner. Originally, Underarms was available as a mail-order-only release from 4AD, so in a way Underarms & Sideways is both its first official release and a reissue. Either way, the album is still striking: while its pieces are undeniably ambient, they're also commanding, with a surprising amount of body and presence. While "Friday Afternoon" is relatively (and beautifully) wispy, it shares the intense cello drones, distant, understated drums, and fleeting melodic figures that thread through the rest of the album. On the other hand, "Iota" — which opens with a strange sound that falls somewhere between scratching and screaming — and "White on White" are dark and almost threatening, reflecting Underarms' ability to conjure vivid imagery despite (or perhaps because of) its abstractness. While only "Happiness Strings" and "Dagger Strings" have any literal ties to ...smile's ok, tracks like "Sweet Medicine" share that album's emotional pull. Sideways, meanwhile, does indeed offer a different perspective on the Hope Blister's music. Guentner is an inspired choice to continue the project's metamorphosis, and with his expansive touch, he manages to make tracks that are even more ethereal and ambient than their source material. Pieces such as "Sideways Three," which begins with a jittery, mechanical edge and eventually overflows with lush, aquatic sounds, keep the ebb and flow of Underarms and have their own distinctive feel. "Sideways Four," meanwhile, surrounds warm, soothing, "Sweet Medicine"-like drones with chillier electronic textures. While it might be expected that breaking down the Hope Blister's original concepts into smaller and smaller pieces would bring diminishing returns, Underarms & Sideways, Rovi

Biografía

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s

A sequel to his This Mortal Coil project, the Hope Blister was led by 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell, who this time out chose to dispense with a revolving ensemble approach in favor of assembling a core lineup consisting of vocalist Louise Rutkowski, bass virtuoso Laurence O'Keefe, and cellist/arranger Audrey Riley. The Hope Blister debuted in 1998 with the covers collection ...smile's ok. Underarms, a limited-edition collection of outtakes and remixes from ...smile's ok, arrived the following year....
Biografía completa
Underarms & Sideways, The Hope Blister
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