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Music for Nitrous Oxide

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Album Review

Music for Nitrous Oxide reveals Stars of the Lid's chemical makeup in its rawest and most basic form. All of Brian McBride's and Adam Wiltzie's obsessions are here: droning guitar feedback, garbled voice transmissions, and patient compositions unafraid to stretch past the ten-minute mark. This debut effort shows the scars of their primitive home-recording setup, but like the best four-track music, apparent technological shortcomings are turned into the record's advantage. The blurry, out-of-focus feedback drones blend wonderfully with the ambient noise of the living room and the fuzzy layer of distortion imparted by the analog cassette. Stars of the Lid acknowledge how well their music works in this environment by titling a track "Tape Hiss Makes Me Happy." Probably the darkest record in the band's catalog, there is an apocalyptic edge to Music for Nitrous Oxide that owes something to the disembodied voices floating through the tracks. "Lagging" is haunted by snatches of dialogue from a war zone news broadcast, while "Down" pulls the voice of a Texas faith healer from the AM radio airwaves. They would go on to refine and perfect their drone aesthetic (and make much prettier music), but Music for Nitrous Oxide shows that Stars of the Lid had some great ideas from the beginning.

Customer Reviews

ttt

the background war vocals in "lagging" are from the film "apocalypse now" not from a war zone news broadcast...who writes reviews for i-tunes anyway? Either you know what it is or you dont, but dont make stuff up about the song.

Biography

Formed: Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Ambient drone duo Stars of the Lid was formed in Austin, TX, by guitarists Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie, the latter also a member of Windsor for the Derby as well as the longtime soundman for Bedhead. Debuting in 1994 with Music for Nitrous Oxide, the duo returned the following year with Gravitational Pull vs. the Desire for an Aquatic Life; signing to Kranky, Stars of the Lid next resurfaced in 1997 with the epic The Ballasted Orchestra. 1998's Per Aspera Ad Astra, a collaboration with painter...
Full Bio
Music for Nitrous Oxide, Stars of the Lid
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