E*Vax, Parking Lot Music
Oh, yeah! For some reason, the IDM music of the crunchy-yet-beaty-yet-melodic variety hasn't appealed to me lately. I don't know what it is--the songs themselves or my impatience at hearing the same sorts of sounds all the time on countless disks. But, for some reason, even though E*Vax's Parking Lot Music is part of the same IDM realm as those other disks, I find it compelling and absorbing, rather than boring and tired. Why? Well, perhaps I am over my annoyance at IDM music, and I'm willing and able to listen to new efforts in this genre. Or perhaps I've paid more attention to this disk. Or (and this one is most likely) perhaps it's the songs themselves, which are rich in both clever sounds and in beautiful melodies. I think most IDM artists work from the standpoint of building rhythms that are either complex enough to be "intelligent" (I have no idea how that works, but...) or hard enough to be danceable. E*Vax might start tracks with rhythms in mind, but these rhythms serve the melodies. Most of the best IDM from the last few years has realized that rhythms get old, but well-crafted melodies and songs don't. Actually, the melodies remind me of one of my favorite IDM works, Bola's Soup. Like Bola, E*Vax's emphasis is the overall listening experience of a track, rather than the hyper-complexity of individual moments within tracks. In other words, although there are plenty of clever rhythms and crunchy, clicky sounds, they serve the larger purpose of crafted, listenable music. Songs like "To Scale a Fish" have tons of ISAN-like clicks and other IDM staples, but these sounds aren't put in the song for their own sake but to add a counterpoint to the sweeping yet delicate synth melodies. I'm impressed by the amount of time I spend listening to this disk. I've had it a week and I can't get enough of it. What more can I say?
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