• all tiny creatures Dark Cloud (CD, £11.75)

    label: Hometapes

    ďDude, look what I just got." It started with a text. All Tiny Creatures' founder Thomas Wincek was at work on the new album. He'd just found a Rockman, the headphone amp designed by Boston founder Tom Scholz. A guitar DI Box with multiple effects built in, itís what Def Leppard used all over Hysteria. I had no idea. For those vast radio jams of my youth, my brain had been the effects processor. A couple months later, I was listening to Drexciya, watching King Crimson live videos, and hearing Beach Boys songs I never knew existed. Wincek was leaving a note for me before I time travelled. I was learning the secrets of Dark Clock. All Tiny Creatures' second album is an ode to the intertwined bodies of music and technology. A familiar, primordial ease is wrapped up in pulsing electricity. In ten songs, the Wisconsin-based four-piece reminds us that our blood-filled frames are responsible for making the tangle of wires around us. We're still inventing fire. All Tiny Creatures is Wincek, along with Andrew Fitzpatrick, Matt Skemp and Ben Derickson. Wincek, Skemp and Fitzpatrick are also part of Volcano Choir, the sonic collision between Justin Vernon and the venerable Collections of Colonies of Bees. Longtime friends, the process of creating Dark Clock was its own song for All Tiny Creatures, an opportunity to experiment beyond their years. From sampling computer-speech pioneer Charles Dodge on "The Book" to inviting Julian Lynch to play clarinet on "Reunion" to pretending to be another band entirely on "A Lone Sound," ("We tried to imagine what it must have been like writing music using primarily a Fairlight CMS, one of the earliest, most primitive samplers"), Dark Clock is as conceptually vast as it is viscerally immediate. When I heard "Quickest Cut," I realized where Wincek had taken me. He took the blindfold off at the top of the ferris wheel, right when the guitar solo kicked in. The land that stretched out around us was lush and green, marked with glass skyscrapers and grazed by woolly mammoths. It was as endless endless as the improvised guitar loop the song was built on. I understood it now, the road we took in, lined with telephone poles and aluminium fences. I could see where it started, in those woods. I could see where it ended, in those woods. Dark Clock, like everything I've ever heard All Tiny Creatures create, is a neurotransmitter. From the click of a keyboard to the click of a breaking stick, it connects the dots between where we are and where we came from. You just dial in where you want to land, hold on, and let go. Tracklist: 1. Comets 6:11 2. A Lone Sound 3:10 3. Hypertext 0:44 4. All Die Out 4:49 5. Impossible Season 4:21 6. Quickest Cut 4:36 7. The Book 3:50 8. Chase Lights 5:25 9. Wave Particles 6:44 10. Reunion 3:28

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