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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Murcof
Cosmos
Leaf

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 30, 2007
It is business as usual for Murcof mastermind Fernando Corona, and Cosmos sees him chiselling away at the immersive, sample-based electronica niche he seems to have carved for himself since dropping Martes in 2002. His formula of reinforcing string samples with glitchy, cut-up beats is etched into the face of Cosmos, an album that flies the flag for post-classical electronica and, in a greater context, isn't that far removed from the rest of Corona's output. The album does bring the orchestral elements further to the fore, and can be seen as relying less on beats as centrepieces to its tracks, while the dark, hypnotic undertones of his earlier works remain intact.

Murcof's game is manipulation - taking acoustic sounds and cutting them up, skewing them, and editing them into new forms. Corona's is by no means a new technique, but it is one that he is well practised at. His beats are miniscule, and thus don't sound overpowering alongside the orchestral samples, which are given ample space to breathe. Cosmos' six relatively long tracks subsequently emerge as grandiose experiments, rich in essence and diversity.

"Cuerpo Celeste" sets the scene as a long passage of organs, strings and tectonic rumblings, before a pulse is injected in "Cielo". Each component of the track is utilized percussively - everything is on the beat - and as the track builds in intensity it begins to accumulate considerable momentum. On the flipside, "Cosmos I" is an expansive collage of samples that collect to form a scaped-out drone that collects and dissipates, before a series of blissful swells set in.

While it would be difficult to make a case for labelling it a masterpiece, Cosmos is a worthy progression for Murcof. What it lacks in standouts it makes up for in atmosphere and starkness. Cosmos is as dimly lit as any Murcof fan would expect, if not allowing the freeform aspects to fester in their own juices more. Moreover, it's a cementation of the Murcof production technique, and of a sound that's juxtaposed to that of many of today's hopefuls.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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