In the great Powell and Pressburger film A Matter of Life and Death, Marius Goring descends to earth from monochrome heaven to sort out whether David Niven should be dead or alive, that is, on earth or in heaven. In what has been hailed as one of the first post-modern/meta-narrative moments in cinema Goring (as an eighteen century fop) touches a flower which then blooms into colour. He then declares “One is starved for Technicolor up there”.
To paraphrase Marius’ phrase for Dublin Opinon, “One is starved for music round here”. To make up for that I’ll mention an album I heard for the first time this morning that I really should have been listening to long before now: Menomena’s Friends and Foe from 2007.
I could wonder how it is that I missed this album for two years, but considering that I barely read about new music these days it is hardly surprising. Joe Tangari, reviewing the album in Pitchfork does such a good job of describing their music that there is no chance of me being able to better it. Here he is on the song “Wet and Rusting” embedded below.
The band’s technique of building songs from improvised loops arranged with custom software yields bigger, more developed compositions and stronger songwriting than on records past. “Wet and Rusting” is one of their most conventionally memorable songs to date, but also one of their most interestingly varied, as the textures that lie beneath the vocals constantly shift. It places the same rushing piano passage over two completely different rhythm tracks and makes it sound amazing both ways.
So, if you haven’t heard Menomena go check them out.