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LITERATURE

 » 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
Adventure Time
Dreams of Water Themes
Plug Research

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
You wake up in the self-conscious 72 degrees of an airport waiting area, unsure of how you got there. Clutching a crisp ticket redeemable for any flight in the building, you relish the mystery and court the open-ended task of deciding your destination. A roll of unmarked bills in your secret security travel belt, presumably from the same fairy godmother, you bypass luggage altogether and walk a circular trail past every flipping Arrival/Departure board. You remain perplexed, and wonder if this is all legitimate, but decide to squelch those cautious signals and take it for what it's worth: You could go anywhere.

The name Adventure Time feels like a pun in that respect, but the feeling is the same; full of wonder and boundlessness. Brought to you by downtempo heroes, Daedelus and Frosty, the chill of lounge sophistication is in the air, and seafaring tales are populated by Billie Holiday and Lee "Scratch" Perry as though nautically intuitive.

In the same way you arrived, where you land is a fantasy world. Each track opens another magical door, and showcases the endless creativity and range embodied in their electronics and sampling. "The Age of Aquariums" is a perfect introduction, moving in slow and steady jazz with a dusting of tinkling fairy bells. "Whetting Whistles" has a more hip-hop flair, but samples synthetic seagulls and is propelled by a thick beat.

Dreams of Water Themes is an album highly indulgent in fun; there is never an instant where it feels labored or uninspired. Likewise, the locales keep changing. "Water Signs" is zany, funky and tribal, sounding like a block party for the indigenous people. It weaves and snaps, rolling around in festivity. "General Midi vs. Rusty 4eyes" sounds like an Amon Tobin battle score, clicking with otherworldly momentum and surprising angles.

Of the thematic digression, "Girl of the Well" is the most like a sea chantey, but mixes Celtic noises with dark pop electronics. It is a seasickness-inducing, rocking boat, but not without distracting merriment. "Kappabashi" is aptly jazzy, switching keys and improvisational techniques to break new ground. It represents a stronger and less obvious theme of constant change, which the album adheres to flawlessly.

Adventure Time will soon be a favorite project for those who love Avalanches, but Dreams of Water Themes succeeds where Since I Left You faltered: they make it sound effortless. Not only is their sampling subtle and enhancing, but it opens portals to imaginative places and allows for endlessly pleasant surprises.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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