The Songs We Can't Escape

Lars Horntveth

Lars Horntveth


Here we have a dreamy, post-Tortoise conservatory suite of such extraordinarily refinement that it could slip, almost unnoticed, into some late-night NPR classical playlist. For reasons I can't explain, I like to pretend that this aural spectacle takes place in an enchanted forest and that each symphonic element represents some woodland creature, so that as the various movements are revealing themselves, receding, and sometimes colliding; cats, bears, squirrels, and birds are shifting in artificial patterns behind my mind's eye, like some sort of bizarro Bollywood/Disney synthesis.


Who knew that Burning Star Core principal Yeh was capable of this sort of Reader's Digest-condensed pop? He crams choice snippets from Cryptacize's forthcoming Mythomania into three concise minutes that portray the album as something far more spastic than it actually is—offering, perhaps, a glimpse at the future of pre-release promo manna.


Black Dice is operating at such a peak of creative alchemy right now that even something as relatively pithy as "Whirlygig" astounds. It's just 20 seconds long, but flabbergasting nonetheless: a random array of vocal samples shuffled, vaporized, treated with tape hiss, sideswiped by a snatch of bubonic mutant dub.


Ain't nothing wrong with pretending you're Lowlife-era New Order, with all the competing fades, vintage synthesizers, and flat gray beats that description implies.

"I Get It In"

A sort of evil twin to the celebratory swagger of "In Da Club," "I Get It In" teeters precariously on the ledge of full-fledged alcoholic collapse: the usual exultations of uber-avarice hand-in-hand with blackouts and intoxicated intimations as alluring keyboard streaks give way to doleful piano chords. If we're to posit Fitty as wasted here, he gets a pass on the cruise-control lyricism—and we in turn get a better sense of what Before I Self Destruct could be if it ever actually drops.