alog, “duck-rabbit”

Artist: alog
Title: duck-rabbit
Release Date: 2001

alog, duck-rabbit, released 2001 on rune grammofon

1) islands of memory
2) objects begin to appear from the future
3) violence and magical danger
4) fire’s for burning
5) duck-rabbit
6) idea-changing liquid alchemy
7) your secret flesh
8) as complicated and as beautiful as always
9) drunk dj’s

Somehow, on their second full-length release, alog manages to preserve all the things that were worthwhile about red shift swing, and to get right what they first got wrong. Their music is still based on isorhythms, but there’s much more depth, detail, and sense of motion to their work as a whole; it feels organic and alive. Now above their mismatched loops soar lovely, jagged, improvised-sounding melodies, supported by gentle but pleasingly unpredictable and elusive beats.

duck-rabbit is a lovely, haunting album , probably best suited for rainy, contemplative days. Throughout, alog maintains an ominous, dark feel, like wandering through a landscape at night. Each track has a stately melancholy underneath[1], even as their music swoops, soars, and plays; a constant sense of searching and yearning. The timbres they use are still mostly heavily processed and smoothed – my understanding is that one of their favorite techniques is to record acoustic instruments and run them through a vocoder, voice included. And somehow, when they do computerize singing – as on the love song “your secret flesh” – it manages to sound sweet and sad. My favorite songs, “islands of memory” and “as complicated and as beautiful as always” are epic in feel, with a grand sense of flow and form, of journey.

When I close my eyes and listen, I imagine shimmering lights, fields of glowing and shifting color against a dark background.
(1) Well, “drunk dj’s” is a little silly.