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Future Artists

The Dead C

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Album Review

New Zealand's Dead C have been releasing records, playing infrequent live shows, and basically hiding out for nigh on 20 years as Future Artists — their first release of new material since 2003's Damned — hits the shelves in the U.S. on Ba Da Bing. Those looking for something different from these desultory, droning, low-frequency thrum-and-noise explorers will be surprised by only one track here, "The Magicians," which contains a strummed acoustic guitar and rather soft monotone-ish, Neil Young-esque vocals amid the din — and, it's under four minutes long! But be forewarned, it's one of the most irritating and noisy cuts on the set as well. The rest fits along the lines of the set's opener, "The AMM of Punk Rock" (which is to say that it fits into the entirety of the band's catalog seamlessly). While the title refers to the great long-lived group of musical experimentalists that no doubt influenced them, it's a self-deprecating wink that seems to underscore the notion that the Dead C know their place in indie experimental rock history — even as acts such as Wolf Eyes, Sightings, and Double Leopards, among others, have risen to greater notoriety for employing similar techniques. There's plenty of simple one- or two-beat drum patterns along with buzz, static, feedback (controlled and otherwise), and high-pitched whine and shimmer, even as these apparently unstructured pieces of music and noise assert their architecture to the listener gradually, purposefully, and without hurry or artificial setup. In other words, those familiar with this sound and desire it will no doubt delight in it, while Future Artists is not destined — nor designed — to win over many new recruits to the fan club. If one takes the time to go back and listen to the Dead C's recordings over the years, it is inevitable to hear how their collective method of sonic exploration has developed and matured; it's focused and astute without narrowing itself to categorization. Since this is most certainly true, Future Artists is a welcome return to recording for one of the most confounding, maddening, challenging, and rewarding bands ever to come down the pipe.

Customer Reviews

tell the itunes reviewer to SHUTTTT UPPPPP

this album is way to personal to let words of a fool seap into yer concious state, listen for yourself and let the vibes flow

Biography

Formed: 1986 in New Zealand

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Forerunners of post-rock and the modern-day revival of space rock, the Dead C are an improvisational, hugely prolific noise rock trio indebted to Sonic Youth (whose Thurston Moore is an avowed fan), as well as Krautrock and psychedelia. Challenging and mostly instrumental, they have been a definite anomaly on the New Zealand scene, which was still known primarily for the jangly collegiate pop associated with the Flying Nun label when the band first emerged in the late ‘80s. Perhaps in part for that...
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Future Artists, The Dead C
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