Thursday, December 6th, 2018

PBSR – Volcano

From Andrew, a sonic eruption of sorts…


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[5.17]

Andrew Waddell: If you’re a literalist like me, you might struggle to reconcile the first impression of “Volcano” with its namesake. The sparse piano, Fennesz-esque guitar, and its blend of processed vocals and synth washes feel more unearthly, or even aquatic, than our mercurial perception of an erupting volcano. But as “Volcano” progresses and those previously separate musical elements blur into one, its purpose begins to make sense — volcanoes are more than spectacles; those rains of ash, burbling lava flows, and tectonic changes are the results of years of change and transition culminating into action. “Volcano” takes that and condenses it into a song, its slow accumulation of depth seemingly building to a release. But “Volcano” is more anthropomorphic than the real thing, and that’s where the similarities diverge for the last time — “Volcano” abruptly ends by retreating into itself, in the same way we handle the stresses of the day every single night.
[9]

Alfred Soto: If this is a volcano, it erupts hundreds of miles below the sea, its activity registered by the faintest of bubbles rippling the surface.
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Tim de Reuse: A sonic commitment to sounding pleasant above all else: two chords, tinkly piano, distant guitar, ethereal reverb, all corners viciously sanded down. Without the indecipherable moaning vocals, it’d just be the music that they play on an airplane before the informational safety video starts: specially engineered to be un-dislikable and barely registering in the conscious mind.
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Katherine St Asaph: After putting on this perfectly pleasant James Blake/How to Dress Well track, a 22-year-old dude (you will also have regressed to age 20) will appear, cut the lights, hit on you, then ghost you the next day.
[5]

Ian Mathers: It’s not that weird that this feels to me like a hybrid of later-period Bon Iver and that one Bruce Hornsby song that gets played on the radio sometimes; it is weird that I kind of love it, though?
[7]

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Pablo Serrano knows how to create a mood, but it’s also a very familiar one that has been done to death throughout the entirety of the 2010s. It’s also one that is accomplished through the most obvious methods: post-Bon Iver vocals buried low in the mix, loosely hip hop-indebted percussion, huge washes of synths, noodly guitar melodies, buckets of reverb. Not sure we need any more music like this.
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One Response to “PBSR – Volcano”

  1. I wondered if I’d be the only other one who liked this. Also, I love Alfred’s blurb, but to me it sounds like more of a compliment than I guess it is in this context!

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