Monday, March 2, 1998

People / R Plus Seven REVIEW

Q. WHEN WE ASK HOW TO BE LESS MECHANICAL, we are told to be more awake. When we ask how to wake up, the answer is not to identify, and when we ask how not to identify, the answer is to self-remember. This seems to be a circle, each method being counterparts of the other. Can we get any further help to attempt any or all of these?

A. It is not exactly right, because each of these attempts has its own peculiar feature and taste. They are all different. It is necessary to try from all possible sides in order to break the wall. It is a very high and very hard wall that we have to break. But we do not begin with that—we begin with our plurality. When I first spoke of the many 'I's in us, I said that new 'I's jump up every moment, control things for a brief time and disappear, and many of them never meet. When you realize that you are not one, that you are many, that you may know something for certain in the morning and know nothing about it in the afternoon, then this realization is the beginning. I do not mean that if we realize this plurality we can change it and become different; but this realization is the first step.

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R PLUS SEVEN
Warp Records 2013
***1/2

Oneohtrix Point Never is a progressive noise band from, where else, Winthrop. R Plus Seven follows where Replica left off and does a pretty damn good job of it. They are prog but also have a few electronic noise tendencies. The synths are often more plastic as they would be in noise and the vocals sit somewhere between choral bliss and screams. There is lots of atmosphere too. Maybe like six parts atmosphere and one part prog.



The album begins with arpeggios which is very cool. This is a very cool beginning. It’s got that nostalgiac feel but with decent production. Ironically, with Replica and Returnal where the production is generally bad, the songs are pretty good. Here it is the opposite. The songs are just a little too artsy and it takes away from the power. Fortunately, the confusing vibe is very cool and comes through very well. There are many breaks in the middle of things with nice riffs and surprising sounds. The trouble is, there is too a big difference between the most aggressive parts of the album (Still Life) and the rest of the album which are kind of just paintings. I really like dramatic dynamics though, I don't know if it will or won’t bother most people. Boring Angel and Americans flow together very well. Sometimes there is no pause and so the onslaught continues. There are places where I really like the lack of dynamic change. There are some nice chord progressions here that I really like.




Still Life begins with no hesitance. It explodes in with some nice riffing. Chrome Country is a great song. It is a beautiful change from the formula of the first four tracks and the next three. There is a cool bass part that opens the song and is very audible throughout the entire song. It has that feel that I associate with most ballads. The vocals on this track are great. There is a little bit of delay and distortion on them and that makes them even better that they already are. The drums sound good too because its just an 808 kick. There are also some synth voices in the background. The worst part of the song is that there is a fade-out. Oh well.

Inside World is lame. It has a sample of a knife cutting something. There are people in the background making food, maybe in the jungle. That ruins the excellent mellowed section. This song is actually really good musically but it is just so lame. It ends with a question mark; that is not lame. 

The first half of the album was mediocre. The second half, is awesome. Did I mention this album has strings? The weird sounds really stand out. There are key changes too. There is a halftime section (Problem Areas). There is also strange sections when all the music fades out but the vocals keep their volume and you can really hear the delay. It sounds really cool. There's a lot of silence, and strange pulsing sounds that remindsme of early Kaoss Edge, or something medieval. 

This album is very split. It is pretty much the same weird stuff for the first half and it’s fine, but not great. The second half is really awesome.


Recommended Tracks:
Still Life
Americans
Boring Angel
Chrome Country
Problem Areas



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