LP - Fielded/Alex Barnett - Split
hhh... the Chicago synth scene seems to pump out an unending supply of high quality releases at a fairly intense clip. And this split LP is one of those high quality releases. Newly pressed up by the high-minded purveyors of experimentation at the Nihilist label is a split release by two of Chicago's hugely talented acts: Alex Barnett and Fielded. Since Fielded is the work of one Lindsay Powell we're gonna go ladies first here... Fielded treads a powerful yet subtle territory of droning synthesizer pads topped with Ms. Powell's highly processed and layered vocals that venture into some Fever Ray/The Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson vibes which in our opinion is a good thing, yet Fielded has a sound all her own with pounding drum machine and a wonderful vocal delivery of impassioned beauty. All in all this is an extremely engaging record of challenging yet catchy synth-pop experimentalism. On the flip we have the latest by synth tickler Alex Barnett who deals in instrumental soundtrack/score music a' la 70's slasher flicks and 80's cop shows. Alex excels at the slow and moody build up of stark beats and sinister pitchblack creeper tones; the sonic equivalent of the first person point of view shot of the deranged killer secretly spying his victim and working up the nerve to strike or the burned out detective at his wit's end trailing said killer. These tracks unfurl themselves slowly creating thick swaths of tension adding to the icy dread. At times dark and tranquil, sometimes pounding and ecstatic and mos def highly recommended.