Title: Forgotten Subtlety of Small Talk
Release Date: 2015 Mar 21
Genre: Experimental Down-Tempo
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Enough Records
Eight years after his first release on Enough Records, Chris Reid returns with Wurlitztraction: Forgotten Subtlety of Small Talk. This release is a mixed bag of short interludes and more substantial pieces that range from laid back pop, to experimental collages.
Wurlitztraction: Forgotten Subtlety of Small Talk
I find this release to be somewhat scattered, kind of like buckshot. Some of the pellets hit the target dead center, some hit but are a bit off center, while still others miss the target altogether.
The release opens with a short Intro track which leads into Dawn Radar, a nice downtempo piece featuring some nice laid back electric guitar over some chill beats. This track sets the tone for things to come as the guitar work is a bit loose and wanders around the edge of things, while little glitch style samples wander through the work.
This is the kind of music making that really makes this release nice to listen to. It’s a little challenging, but there is a core of that is fun to listen to. And there are other tracks that are similar: Time In Reverse really stands out. Beautifully done vocal work (unfortunately un-credited), over some bristling drums, with subtle bass and glitch elements.
Some other tracks that hit the target include: Parallel Thought, Unquantified (Amazement->Despair), Shuroken. But as much as there are some really nice tracks on here there are some that just miss the target, mostly the more experimental pieces: Neon Foreplay, Emotion Cache, and Forgotten Intervention fall into this category. These are examples of ways in which it sounds like Chris was trying to play with some of the more noisy and glitchy elements of this release, but allowed the pieces to get away from excellent focus of the other pieces.
But, there are also a couple “interlude” types of pieces: dissolvingGlances and doubleDrop. These are the more glitchy / experimental pieces in their pure form. I didn’t have as much of an issue with them as they are condensed, pure distillation of the noisier elements of the other pieces. They served as a good way of linking the longer pieces together.
I think what I would have liked to hear more of on this release is focused longer songs like Time In Reverse, with interspersed “interlude” tracks. Having more solid songs in which Chris could expand on the shorter concepts from the interludes would make for a more coherent listening experience. That way the glitchy elements would feel like they were woven into the fabric of the release, while still allowing them some space to shine on their own.