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New Skin

Mount Analog

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Album Review

Tucker Martine is probably best-known as an engineer, doing work for some of Seattle's finest musicians, notably Wayne Horvitz and Bill Frisell. He also shows up on various albums playing percussion or adding additional live electronics and treatments, as on the albums by Wayne Horvitz's 4 + 1 Ensemble. The Mylab project from earlier in 2004 was a very interesting collaboration with Horvitz, and Mount Analog is a similar project, albeit without Horvitz's contributions. The tracks all start with Martine constructing tracks from sampled and found sounds, then fleshing the pieces out with contributions from the other players. Much of the album has a ghostly, eerie quality but without being menacing or foreboding. The songs seem inhabited by spirits of the source material, and the treatments of the instruments sometimes enhance this otherworldly quality. The songs take their time to unfold, allowing the listener to fully soak up the ambience of the tracks and the many layers of sound. There are also some very pretty pieces, like "Bell & Howell" and "Fall," but overall the album has a slightly dark, nocturnal feel to it. Martine's studio abilities give the album it's feel, but his sense of musicality is what makes it interesting. Fascinating.

New Skin, Mount Analog
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