A horrible hack


Monument Builders

Year Released: 2016
Format: LP
Label: Kranky
Reviewed by Captain Fidanza on Nov 8, 2016
I can’t imagine for a moment that the cover of this album is making a reference to the cover of The Fall’s 2002 compilation “High Tension Line,” but if it is, it’s the only thing that could possibly make me like this any more than I already do.

It was likely that it was going to be fairly brilliant as soon as I saw the word Kranky at the top of the download page, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be as good as this. Opening track “Drained Lake” is the single most atmospheric thing I’ve heard since the last Burial album and although it sets the dark and dingy tone for the remaining six pieces of music, each subsequent song is dazzlingly different in the way in which it explores that tone.

Second track, “Red Tide” is reminiscent of Moroder’s theme for Midnight Express and “Anthropocene” has a similarly upbeat feel to it, although both are infused with a singularly unsettling edge that pervades the entire album.

However, despite each of the different tracks here drawing the listener in completely to the potentially unpleasant world being soundtracked, there are occasional moments of light, such as the synthesised horns on “Straw Dogs” which, like Vangelis’ music for Bladerunner, appear to be heralding the arrival of something incredible. Maybe there is still hope, perhaps all is not lost and tomorrow will at last be brighter than we’ve always feared.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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