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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
Rosy Parlane
Iris
Touch Music

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The photos adorning this piece depict snow-encrusted pastoral landscapes, ominous but icily beautiful, with not a person to be seen. Like them, Iris unfurls tepid yet chilled, organic yet metallic, like a felt covered gong being struck softly in winter, the snow it harboured fluttering away, leaving its exposed skin to shake amid cold air.

Split into three lengthy parts, Rosy Parlane is essentially writing aural short stories. Initially, Parlane plants a seed, the setting, allowing enough time for the listener to gain familiarity with the whistling tones, undulating waves of ambience, and occasional glitch hailstorms. A few steps into "Part One," and a wavering drone takes on characteristics of a faraway, unseen yet massive generator.

Parlane is quick to apply a variety of evolving textures against his drones. These frenzied rattles that dart through sheets of wind and ambience, create a sense of space and draw the listener in further. Hitherto, the alien horizons take on a human feel. A croaking of crickets, a light stammer of footsteps wading through snow, the bristling of tree branches and extended pulses which blow like the wind, craft an impression wherein you're standing by a poorly ventilated wooden window, ice seeping in as you stare out onto abandoned, snow covered hills. Rich harmonics, shift, commingle and eventually evolve into arching drones, constantly in flux overhead. With the atmosphere becoming denser, crackling campfire electronics spark from a dying fire left behind.

Parlane has learned how to pace himself. Iris invites you to leave a polluted macroscopic world to instead wander through a coherent opus of microscopic excursions. Even with an array of textures being used the work never feels as though a burlap sack of digital trickery is simply being emptied. Unlike so many, there is patience in Parlane's work - a honed ability to see ideas through to the end and to exhaust their potential. As such, when a harsh hailstorm of glitch electronics pours down at the climax point of "Part One," it feels like an actual storm has arrived, since the steps taken prior to its onset leads so naturally to this outburst.

"Part Two," though more languid in pace, at first reminds of Philip Jeck's "Wholesome". That is, until an occasional sibilance of hazy white noise and clattering of plates pock marks the almost celestial church organ that began the piece. At just over eighteen minutes, the resonant hums that segue into a crest of reverberating, noticeably metallic, bell-like tones could have been condensed significantly without harmfully circumcising the intended effect.

The album's most mournful piece is its closer. It begins with a quasi melodic church organ which is soon splattered with glitch interference and sharp shafts of digital noise akin to the clamor of someone sorting through a file cabinet. These sounds are woven together expertly to paint a rather haunting impression, eventually coalescing the seismic sizzles into a high-energy drone, filling the aural space like a horde of echoing voices.

Iris mirrors the frosty, desolate landscapes decorating its linear notes. The music, which stems from largely artificial sound sources, nevertheless beams with a human feel unbeknownst to its peers. An homage to winter nights, Iris is an environment onto itself.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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