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Implodes – Recurring Dream (2013) [FLAC]
Label: Kranky – KRANK174
Format: CD, Album
Released: 01 Apr 2013
.: Tracklist :.
It was 3 p.m. and sunny my first time through Implodes’ Recurring Dream, a mistake I only let myself make once. Dream, like the Chicago drone-rockers’ debut Black Earth before it, is inexorably nocturnal music, dank and oily, suffused with creeping dread. Ever hear of highway hypnosis? You pull into the garage after a long drive only to realize you can’t really recall the last several hours of your life? That feeling’s all over Recurring Dream, a mesmerizing record with a distinctly sinister edge. Even as you’re drawn in by its narcotic murk, you can’t quite shake the feeling that something terrible’s happened that you just can’t quite recall.
From the layers of scum strewn across its every surface to the minutes-before-sunset cover art, Recurring Dream is well acquainted with the darkness. As on Black Earth, Implodes’ gloomy vibe is equal parts post-punk disaffection, shoegaze’s motion-blur, and the heft of post-rock. Start mining for reference points, and you’ll never stop; the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands and Jesu’s Conqueror made my notes before I realized I’d never make it out of the Js alive. Despite these disparate landmarks, the uniformly sour mood and near-constant drone that runs through just about every second of Recurring Dream gives it a kind of tunnel vision: whether it’s the Mogwai-style blowout in “Ex Mass” or the early Beach House-on-dilaudid vibe of “Sleepyheads”, the persistent crackle seems to cast everything in their world in the same sunless hue.
Spend a little time getting acclimated to the darkness, though, and you’ll start to see just how many things are moving around back there. Even after a dozen listens or so, these songs still seem to change shape, their haunting echoes and lurking rhythms fluidly rearranging themselves whenever your back’s turned. And when they do break from the near-oppressive opacity, you still up and take notice. “Prisms and the Nature of Light” refracts an acoustic kumbaya into something stranger, more surreal. And halfway through several of these songs, guitarist Ken Camden takes a solo that burns through the night like the trail of neon in your rear-view. Their brilliance is quickly swallowed up into Recurring Dream’s beyond-black coloring, but these rare flashes of light only seem to deepen the engrossing darkness that surrounds them.
On the whole, though, Recurring Dream’s a slinkier-sounding record than its predecessor: the songs are more spacious, less prone to snarling, and they’ve lowered the volume on Black Earth’s stuck-between-stations fizz. It’s a tradeoff: the more deliberate Dream doesn’t move unless it has to, upping the intensity whenever it does. But, for all the tension Recurring Dream builds up over its 45-minute runtime, there’s precious little in the way of relief: Black Earth’s periodic blowouts served as dread-diffusers, but the foreboding Recurring Dream closer “Bottom of a Well” prefers mystery, sending you back off into the night, disquieted.
1 Wendy 2
2 Scattered In The Wind
5 Zombie Regrets
6 You Wouldn’t Know It
7 Ex Mass
8 Dream Mirror
9 Melted Candle
10 Prisms And The Nature Of Light
11 Bottom Of A Well
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Implodes
Copyright (c) – Implodes
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Kranky
Copyright (c) – Kranky
Recorded At – Key Club Recording
Mastered At – Chicago Mastering Service
Bass, Guitar, Vocals – Emily Elhaj
Drums – Justin Rathell
Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals – Matt Jencik
Mixed By – Implodes
Mixed By, Mastered By – Jason Ward
Recorded By – Bill Skibbe, Matt Jencik
Recorded By, Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals – Ken Camden
Sleeve – Craig McCaffrey
.: Other Files :.