17 April 2012

The Azraels - the worrying kind (2011)

It feels strange when you realize you are the first one to listen to an artist on Last.Fm, for a record which was released almost one year ago, available for free on SoundCloud, but which generated so far just a few downloads.

Even more when it's the new project of Ryan Klauk, who released on of my favorite 90's albums, "Orchard Street Sounds", on 1998, on Blackbean & Placenta, as Minnetonka. He was part of the hometaping lo-fi scene, among other bedroom lo-fi intimate songwriters such as Wio, Chauchat, Eric Metronome, Sentridoh, Plover, Chuzzlewit or Secret Stars, just to name a few. Another time, another era, but strangely, the depressive melancholic intimate nature gave it a sadcore timelessness still true to my ears today. A true personal classic.

I was afraid to discover what he was recording and releasing thirteen years later, as such transplantation is often risky and usually disappointing. To be honest, by certain aspects, "The worrying kind" is somewhat unworldly, shaky and mostly imperfect, and a good number of songs are just no-go.

But then, like some echoes, the sensitivity I enjoyed before was still there, just in a more mature form, but keeping the same strange delicacy beyond other elements, with a strange detached charm.

Among the ten songs, I finally enjoy a few ones: "Lease Cancellation Letter", is almost absurd with the sound textures used, but there is something undeniable moving inside with a pervading warm melancholy, full of light despair, like belonging to a secret intimate garden. I particularly enjoy the acoustic guitar notes which wonderfully resonate with the vocals.

There is "Ghost town voice", which reminds me of a more lo-fi version of Havergal or like a resurgence of old Magnetic Fields and Chuzzlewit records. Sweet memories and such delicious lyrics as "It hurts the worst to grow out of your dreams".

There is also the confuse despair and soft weariness of "Zombies in Paradise", and the tired slow passion of "Chasing Mermaids". 

While there are pleasant moments in other songs, there are also elements that put me off. 

Finding four more beautiful songs by Ryan Klauk is an unexpected surprise and pleasure.

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