This EP from Atlas Sound, the solo project of Deerhunter’s Brandford Cox is one I’ve always loved but never seen much talk about. 2007’s three track EP clocking in at almost half an hour sounds different from the more accessible shoegazey style of his full-length releases, instead he uses electronics and (on the first track)washed out vocals to create relaxing soundscapes in a combination of ambient, electronica and shoegaze that sounds unique and fantastic – to my mind much better than anything done in his usual style
On the first track Friday Night We Took Acid and Laid on Matt’s Bedroom Floor’s staring at his ceiling fan while his parents watched TV downstairs glitchy electronics buzz and pulse creating a vibrant, relaxed textural effect which combined with the incomprehensible drowned out effects laden vocals give it an almost psychedelic air. The sequenced electronics become more percussive later in the track but still create a relaxed textural sound. The vocals are only used on the first track, and Saturday Night we went Swimming and there was a light in the water is even more chilled out, soft looped textures slide over each other making a gorgeous ambient sound while the sound of splashing water is played over the top. It’s all soft and relaxing, even when combined with occasional tape hiss, and though I’m sure they’re synth textures the tone sounds similar to the softer side of Slowdive’s guitar sound, giving the track an air of a combination of their shoegaze and William Basinski’s tape manipulating ambient.
Sunday Evening We Relaxed In Our Rooms and Called Each Other on the Phone is the third and longest piece, relaxing like the former, but with a much more upbeat tone compared with the minimalist nature of the preceding track, ambient sounds swirling around, pitch ebb and flowing with electronic effects. The soft sound of synthesised brass drones along in the background as the analog textures all swirl and slide over each other in a great piece.
The production is a little rough around the edges, but Cox has created three varied and brilliant pieces of relaxed music combining electronica, ambient and shoegaze perfectly. Highly recommended stuff.