Metronome | Take Down

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Avant Garde: Avant-Americana Electronic: Experimental Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Take Down

by Metronome

With influences as diverse as And El Halim, Radiohead, Oneohtrix Point Never and Delta Blues, this recording spans five years in its creation.
Genre: Avant Garde: Avant-Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Habibi Lossless
10:14 $0.99
2. Habit
4:11 $0.99
3. Side Myself
3:41 $0.99
4. Ambulance Chaser
5:23 $0.99
5. The Law of Average 2
4:25 $0.99
6. Growing Pains
3:45 $0.99
7. Lift Your Hands
5:52 $0.99
8. Mayan Yours
3:27 $0.99
9. Moby's out of Water
3:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Downtown music legend Mikel Rouse reemerges with 'Habibi Lossless'
by Seth Colter Walls

Mikel Rouse isn’t an indie-world household name, though his veteran status is secure. His 1980s group Tirez Tirez opened for Talking Heads and released an album that was distributed by the label I.R.S. (circa R.E.M.’s Dead Letter Office). But Rouse never sounded like anyone else. His love for classical music’s minimalists was as obvious as his own strategies were idiosyncratic. After establishing a groove and a hook, Rouse’s vocal part could venture beyond its original length, creating a counter-rhythm. That line might next splinter into rounds, before the addition of another delirious rhythm track.

And he can write a melody. “Habibi Lossless,” from Rouse’s new group Metronome, begins by layering drones, percussion, slide guitar, and vocals in its first minute. Then the electronic beats click in. Relying on an Arabic word for a romantic partner, the lyrics sketch a frustrated love story. (“I did not cry/To protect you from your fear.” “And we make love/In your American Dream.”) Over 10 minutes, the teasing structure delivers moments of exultation amid an overall sense of unease. Slippery likeRadiohead’s “Daydreaming”—and as chaotically clattering as work by Oneohtrix Point Never—it reestablishes Rouse’s brilliance.

Mikel Rouse’s musical and theatrical repertoire has its roots in the high art-meets-popular culture, mix and match aesthetic of the early 80s downtown Manhattan music and art scene from which he emerged. As the Toronto Globe and Mail puts it, Rouse’s music has brought “comparisons to Laurie Anderson, Steve Reich and occasionally Talking Heads, though Rouse’s love of complex rhythmic patterns far exceeds them all.”

But music is just a part of what he does: His pieces also build a hypnotic effect through their nonnarrative approach and the use of surreal film images. The Los Angeles Times notes, “Indeed, what makes Rouse’s music so fascinating is that it completely merges speech and song into a rich overlay of textures. The songs have a lush pop music texture (some have noticed a seeming Rouse influence on Beck). The melodies are immediate but complexly structured like poetry; his beautiful lyrics are highly musical in tone and rhythm.” And after the premiere of Rouse’s multimedia opera The End of Cinematics, The New York Times reported, “Sometimes built on heavy, repetitive beats, and sometimes couched in Beatle-esque psychedelia, the songs are vivid, pleasingly visceral and often engagingly harmonized, with amusingly off-kilter lyrics.”



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