One day a few weeks back, i was at the office downloading a bunch of crap to be installed on some server or another, and i had some time to poke around local blog Latest Disgrace. This is a pretty good Atlanta blog, but they tend to focus a lot on the local hardcore / punk / metal scenes.
I came across the review of this EP, and there was a line that made me laugh. The author, one Miles Jenson, referred to this record as one of the "ambient, Georgia State-esque wistful sounding projects". LOL! I did not know that GA State had a scene, much less one that was ambient and wistful!
Well, based on that description, i had to take a listen. The album is available for a "name your own price" at BandCamp, so i threw the kid a couple of bucks for a listen.
And it's pretty good, in a Washed Out covering new wave tunes kind of way. That is, Feast of Violet, who is one person (Allen Taylor) uses lots of keyboards and sings lightly through a haze of distortion. It's fun listening.
The EP starts off with a brief Intro of skittering guitar sounds and faint drones, like the unholy fusion of Boards of Canada and Autechre.
The next track starts with a scattered, fast sequenced beat which is combined with a steadily growing wash of Tangerine Dream keyboards. A guitar thrums by and Call Eye gets moving. Taylor layers in some vocals as the beats skitter even faster. Overall, this reminds me of Project Skyward, a sort of mid-tempoed laptoptronic take on synthpop. It's rather nice.
Taylor gets his goth on for Sea of Light. Percussion clatters and the vocals are echoed and deep. There are some deep synths too, just to add to the 1980s goth feel. Clan of Xymox anyone?
Calm starts off like a High Places song, with organic percussion samples clattering and echoing and ambient sounds hovering about. Eventually some nice drumming comes in, taking the whole thing into Orbus Terrarum, which is honestly a very pleasant surprise.
Title track Chelsea Psychic reminds me a little of Epic 45. There is a light guitar riff that seems somehow mournful and rustic at the same time, like it is designed to accompany a long car ride through rural Georgia. It gets a little noisier as it grows, with some echoed drums and Taylor's voice far in the background. A lovely little tune.
Studio is Vangelis-like, like the airier music from Blade Runner. And finally things end with Harbor. This tune starts off unassumingly but grows slowly into a really nice groove, with scattered percussion, his voice buried low in the mix, and a slight guitar riff looped. It is a funky and good tune, very Washed Out. A lovely way to end the record.
Overall, i am pleased. If this is "The GA State Sound" then i need to hear more of it!