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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » 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]

MUSIC

 » 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
Midwest Product
Swamp
Ghostly International

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


February 9, 2007
One of the first writings I did for Lost At Sea was a feature about Michigan indie electronic/glitch group Midwest Product. The Ann Arbor outfit's notability developed out of two underappreciated full lengths, 2002's Specifics and 2003's World Series Of Love (both released by Ghostly International), and the potential for further unique sounds with a reportedly forthcoming release The Approximations or Approximations. Well, the third album never came, and potential slowly began to wane.

Fast forward to 2006 and patient fans got a two-for-one via Ghostly International's new 5-song EP Digital release project. The first in the series, which graces listeners with stopover material between full-length albums, is a collection from Midwest Product that includes a barebones remix of World Series Of Love, standout cut "Swamp," and four new tracks. The other half of the good news is that another EP in the series - this one entitled Touched Pilot - is the side project of Midwest Product's frontman Ben Mullins, performing under the moniker PostPrior.

Tight electronic production is still at the core of greater appeal for both releases. The formula that made Midwest Product's first two releases excellent remains key with Swamp: live instrumentation in bass, guitar, and drums; glitchy production cuts; electronic instrumentation in synths, keyboards, and drum programming; and an overall moving, danceable and melodically infectious texture.

The best examples of the group's potency are present within Swamp's two center pieces, the rhythmically kinetic electronic pop tracks "Cold Sore" and "Ohfas". "Cold Sore" sounds like the body for an avant garde friendly, blue-eyed soul performer to croon over, and "Ohfas" is more dark and adventurous in its melodic undertaking but halting in its end-of-the-beat percussive jabs. The other two cuts are "Mumbler" and "Easter Surrender," both of which expand the EP's scope into textures of experimenting and restrain without losing the identifiable Midwest Product signature sound.

If this EP is the precursor to a future release, let's just hope that the full length hits the mark as well as Swamp but doesn't have us waiting three years to enjoy it.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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