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Atlas Sound
Bedroom Databank Rich Hughes , December 10th, 2010 10:29

There are many ways to describe Bradford Cox - lazy wouldn't be one of them. Barely a year goes by without him releasing something under either his Deerhunter or Atlas Sound moniker. 2010, in fact, saw Deerhunter release the excellent Halycon Digest, a sprawling 60s pop-tinged waltz through Cox's ever-present love of shoegaze. What we couldn't have imagined though, is the release, two weeks ago of a series of records all spewed forth via Cox's own blog.

Some of these were recorded in the days leading up to their release and some recorded live in hotel rooms across the globe during Cox's recent touring. What's amazing about these four, pretty much full-length albums, is the quality of the tracks on offer. It doesn't feel like he's just thrown some tapes down the steps of the attic and straight onto the internet. Though, after the take-down notice from Sony which caused Cox some grief (probably due to his charmingly irregular cover of 'This Wheel's on Fire'), he might have wished he'd left them in the attic...

Given the nature of these releases, it's hard to really fault what's on offer. The sheer volume of material means that there are a couple of clunkers, some meandering ideas that get stuck in that revolving door of chords and never mature. But that's to be expected. The highlights are the little dabbles with electronica that whisk their way into the predominately ramshackle guitar pieces. 'Afternoon Drive' and 'Postcard' both brim with a Spring-like brightness. The latter is surely a nod towards Reich with its glittering repetitiveness. 'Farmland Fantasy' is piece of squelchy ambiance that might be Eno through the looking-glass.

These pieces are counter-balanced by the perfectly straight, but beautifully simple, pop songs that litter the four Volumes such as 'Pilot Light', 'Strange Parade' and 'Mona Lisa' and which pay a heavy homage to Cox's love of psychedelic pop.

We're also treated to bit of a yarn with 'Talent Show' involving a 1975 reel-to-reel recording of a track for an Audition show, a woman born with both sets of privates, and a song that could only be described as Dinosaur Jr. if they'd listening to more pop music as they grew up. Never let it be said that Cox doesn't have an outrageous sense of humour.

You can imagine 4AD licking their lips at the idea of releasing a double disc set of the highlights from these Volumes. They'd pretty much clear up come year end. For now, as all four of these "releases" are still available for free download, if you're a fan of any lo-fi wonky pop, then there's really no excuse not to get a-clicking.