Heavy Rotation

Flying Microtonal Banana

Flying Microtonal Banana
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Flightless 2017

This is King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard’s 9th studio album, and here they foray into the lush, dark jungle of microtonal music.

What is microtonal music? Imagine taking a piano and inserting a new key in-between every single existing key on the keyboard. Or imagine taking a guitar and doubling the amount of frets. Doing this would reveal notes inbetween the notes of standard Western music. Quarter tones, in-between semitones.

Listening to this kind of music is an interesting exercise for a European ear. Its origins are in Middle Eastern musical traditions, and on first hearing, images of towering, fragrant cones of bright market spices or sandalled snake charmers spring to mind. But with more exposure, the ear relaxes and opens to the extra expressive and harmonic possibilities this system offers.

For example, the opening track Rattlesnake sounds initially like standard chugging, driving minor key riff-athon, but there is a mid section that opens and soars into something not quite major, but not minor either – causing a weird, uplifting dissonance.

See what you think.

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Heavy Rotation

Lamp Lit Prose

Lamp Lit Prose
Dirty Projectors
Domino Records
2018

Dirty Projectors’ eighth studio album is a hand made thing. It’s what you’d get if Michelangelo sculpted using dry pasta shapes, glue and glitter. Its relentlessly sunny lyrics and indefatigably creative production flourishes give it a refreshing aura of creative vigour that’s typical of the Projectors’ output.

David Longstreth produced the album, and each track is an exercise in exquisite evolution, with rhythms being implied by omission and then revealed phoenix-like in their full glory, growling synths and swooning vocals working together seamlessly, and flailing, morpheus riffs providing the backbone to solid pop songs. Such is the fanciful and joyous nature of this album that Longstreth will happily drop in a brass quartet, towards the end of a song, at the behest of his own lyric ‘now I’m striking up the band.’

Here’s a preview of the album from the band’s Soundcloud:

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