Autres Directions In Music, Spring 2005

If I had just released a two-disc compilation featuring musicians from around the world recording songs based on the sounds of their cities, I’d probably want to take a little break too. However, after a slight hiatus Autres Directions In Music is back in action for 2005.

In January, they released Obadia’s Where Does Dust Come From EP. As with most of the label’s output, the general sound is glitchy, atmospheric electronica a la Múm or the Morr Music crew. However, Where Does Dust Come From has a distinctly hip-hop feel throughout it.

That’s especially true on the opening track, “Don’t Forget To Be Late.” The track layers sliced n’ diced acoustic guitars over sputtering, stuttering beats, squelchy programming, and cheesy keyboard vocals, with some airy, 80s-esque synth to help fill in the gaps.

“Lounge” continues this vibe, with slabs of sound being tossed and mixed about with some record-scratching and nostalgic, Boards Of Canada-esque ambience and vocal snippets for good measure. And “Some Hot Lazy Day” allows some nice, lazy trumpets to drift through the band’s stop/start rhythms and cut-up guitar fragments.

One of the first ADIM discs I heard was Melodium’s Parthenay EP. Last year, Melodium released Anaemia on Audio Dregs. This year, he’s back with La Tête Qui Flotte. I’m listening to it as I type this, and I’m liking it.

My immediate reaction is that Melodium’s music is similar to that of Adem. Although Melodium’s music is far more electronic-based than Adems, both have a very ragged, homespun, and intimate quality to it. In Melodium’s case, it’s due to the playful programming, off-kilter vocals, and kaleidoscope of sounds (field recordings, classical guitar, melodica, flute, xylophone, balafon, etc.) that constantly seems to unfolding itself as the songs progress.

Case in point: the opener “Hellomusic” which unfolds, sleepy-eyed, from a field of static-laden glitch, or “Se Rayer Provisoirement De La Liste Des Vivants,” whose blurred, out-of-focus sound palette resembles a subtler, more restrained Black Moth Super Rainbow.

If you’re unfamiliar with ADIM, they’re an internet-based label out of France who releases most of their music on their website for free download — or, if you’re feeling like you need some good karma (or simply don’t have a high-speed connection), you can order CD-Rs from them complete with artwork for a very reasonable price.

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