Review: ____ Quintet – ___ Quintet (music.com, Apr 10)

Even for someone as woefully, archetypally Gen-Z as yours truly, whatever the fuck is going on over at the music.com Bandcamp page is pretty damn indecipherable. However, a (relatively) more coherent silver lining to the almost grotesque cesspool of stale internet post-irony has been a set of two albums from a mysterious collective of musicians referred to only with blanks: January’s . featured _____ ______ and ___ ____ collaborating on a dusty mess of electroacoustic tangle and tedium, and for ___ Quintet the pair is joined (I think—either _____ ______’s last name gained a letter or they hyphenated it with someone else’s) by three more companions wielding thrift store guitars, scuffed horns, no-input mixing boards, and cracked plastic keyboards to generate an even more complex racket of basement bunkum. While much of .  reminded me of the elusive, warbling beauty of Sunshine Has Blown (a comparison I unfortunately do not get to make very often) with its gestural use of tape blurring, loose string plods, and overall spellbinding lethargy, the Quintet is unsurprisingly more active and immediate. Tracks like “&#rJ$GT}%Y86*@A8” are good abbreviated representations of the bizarre sound the five participants conjure: noodling flurries both near and far; overlapping, even conflicting layers; an inexplicable forward inertia; and an atmosphere that’s not quite claustrophobic but definitely not spacious either. I suppose listening to ___ Quintet transports one, at least in part, to that cluttered room pictured on the cover (at least we don’t have to physically be there; God knows what the smell is like) to become just another piece of an endless pile of junk, simultaneously contained and catalyzed by the confines of the dreary grey walls.

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