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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]

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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]

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
Thilges
La Double Absence
Staubgold

Rating: 8.3/10 ?


May 21, 2007
It's not often that one comes across bands from Austria - off the top of my head I can only think of a few Euro-dance acts from the 1980's and early 90's, and those are rarely considered to be creators of high quality music. Experimental duo Thilges is however a different story.

Thilges craft glitchtronica of a very clicky kind; the sounds they use are razor sharp and clean. On their latest release La Double Absence, the ensemble have broadened the horizons first glimpsed on Die offene Gesellschaft in a number of directions. The Austrians employ traditional instruments like guitar, bass and drums to great effect alongside their clicks and cuts, but the most remarkable aspect of La Double Absence is the band's infusion of Middle Eastern influences.

The album is ripe with Arabic and Persian sounds, melodies and voices. Persian vocalist Zohre Jooya appears on a few tracks, and Asim Al-Chalabi, master of the lute-like oud, helped pen the album's compositions. "Mehraban Bash" is a great example of what an excellent little team of collaborators Thilges put together for La Double Absence. The song rests on an electronic base, with Arabic strings floating on top, and Jooya's vocals fluttering in and out throughout the song.

Most of the tracks from La Double Absence are instrumental, and they are rich and melodic enough to stand with the ones with vocals. The fact that Persian is a completely foreign language (in every sense of the word) might contribute to the weight of the instrumental numbers, since the vocals do not contrast so much as they become another instrument (yeah yeah, I know, the vocals are always an instrument, but you get my point), resulting in very lush, beautiful music.

It would do Austria - and the rest of us - a world of good if there were more bands like Thilges out there, willing to break genre boundaries so radically and let an entire album be so thoroughly influenced by the music of a distant culture. Because that is what La Double Absence is, a Middle Eastern exploration, with some electronica mixed in. Not only does Thilges forray outside the norm make for great music, it also pushes the boundaries of what can be done with such disparaging genres and exemplifies how far such sonic adventurism can take a band's sound. I suppose that Thilges have truly earned the label of an experimental band, because they dare trying something new. My hat goes of to them.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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