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Radian Futura

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Album Review

Young ears listening to Upsilon Acrux are likely to hear math rock and post-rock influences from the likes of Ahleuchatistas, Hella, and Orthrelm. Older ears will hear Henry Cow and maybe King Crimson. Radian Futura consists of six tracks, five of which range from just over one to six minutes in length, and one of which is nearly half an hour long (the latter is presented in what's described as a "Radio Edit," which has to be intended as a joke). The Henry Cow influence is especially audible on "In-a-Gadda-DeVito" (har har), which features cutesy melodic passages and counterpoint that hark back explicitly to the British rock experimentalism of the early '70s. "Prelude to Forshadow'n," however, brings things more up to date with a bracing blend of guitar lines and glitches floating in a slightly vague song structure, with rather heavy-handed drums. "Landscape with Gun and Chandelier" focuses on guitar counterpoint and weird time signatures. "Transparent Seas," the long one, is deceptively chaotic-sounding at first; it starts out like a string of unrelated ideas, but its overarching organization becomes clearer the longer you listen — an exceptionally impressive achievement, if not one that is likely to attract millions of listeners. Interestingly, the album's best track is also its briefest — at just over one minute in length, "The Infinitesimal Fractions of Ping & Pong" sounds like a collaboration between Pere Ubu and Kraftwerk and is a complete hoot.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The San Diego three-piece of Jesse Klecker (drums), Paul Lai (guitars/ moog) and Cameron Presley (guitars/ moog) who are otherwise known as Upsilon Acrux, made their debut on the 1998 compilation Before the Pirates Came. With their experimentation of improv jazz and prog rock that looked up to King Crimson, the self-proclaimed "maximist" three-piece eventually...
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Radian Futura, Upsilon Acrux
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