Monday, June 15, 2009

Axolotl - Of Bonds In General

Of Bonds In General
(2009, Loci)
RIYL = Yellow Swans, Skaters, Caboladies

I have probably been anticipating Axolotl’s Of Bonds In General more than any other this year; or last year for that matter. Part of that anticipation has come from not really knowing when the next full production, full length Axolotl album would be released and, obviously, the other seven-eighths of that anticipation has come from the fact that Axolotl has produced some of the – wait, scratch that - THEE very best noise/drone/weirdness/experimental-whatever albums that I’ve ever heard. I know, I know, that genre label doesn’t really even mean anything, but if you know anything about the expansive experimental underworld that has been progressively building steam on limited edition CDrs, cassettes and vinyl, you’re sure to understand the indefinable element that ties so many of these disparate sound mutationists together. So amongst the ever widen sea of freakish sound sculptors, what makes Axolotl so great? It's a hard question, but I think it has something to do with the ominous all-encompassing power of his noise coupled with the compassionate intention not to injure. I’m not against music that can break your knees, in fact I’m all for it, but Axolotl brand of noise is beauty purified, magnified and then amplified. It’s beautiful chaos at the point of being overwhelming. At least that’s what it has been. Do yourself a favor and seek out Way Blank, Telesma and Memory Theatre. You’ll be glad you did. So, how does Of Bonds In General stack up? If you check Axolotl’s MySpace page (a place for friends) you’ll see that the one man violin deconstructionist is pretty optimistic about this one. He says something like, “this is my best yet.” That’s a pretty big statement, but is it true? …Oh man, I want to say yes but I’m just not quite sure yet. Suffice it to say, Of Bonds In General is so good that it challenges my opinion on whether I think his 2006 masterpiece, Telesma, is THEE very best album of its ilk. Of Bonds In General is really really really good. Like Telesma, the only thing I can really complain about with Of Bonds In General is its relative brevity. With 3 tracks coming in at just over a half hour, I could definitely do with a lot more. But that’s ok, I can settle with three tracks that absolutely kill it in all the ways Axolotl knows how. If you have never heard Axolotl before, there isn’t a lot I can do with words to describe what is going on in his music. This is mostly because I don’t really have a clue what’s going on myself. There is simply this weird otherworldly sound collage of violins, floating vocals, broken beats and electronic grit that seem on the surface like they have been blended together arbitrarily, but somehow turn out to be the coincidental concoction of chaotic perfection. I don’t know how he does it. I don’t even know why I try to figure it out. It is what it is and what it is is awesome. Really, the only thing that you need to know about Of Bonds In General is that it is vying for the number one spot on my year end list for 2009 and as of this very moment, Axolotl is winning. Snatch a copy while you still can: limited to 200 on CDr and planning to be set to wax later this summer!


Axolotl on MySpace


Anonymous said...

so good!

Anonymous said...

i agree!

Jason Miller said...

wow i just downloaded this album totally at random had no idea what to expect and am by no means familiar with/ a fan of noise or whatever, but this is incredible. truly like nothing else ive ever heard. stunning.