This is warm, sleepy music that buzzes like a fridge. Best heard lying down.
Six slices of warm fuzziness from the former Yuck man James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem tells a story about how he used to lie on the floor of his family house listening to the warm hum of the electrical appliances. He says that his music ever since has been concerned with relocating the feeling of safety and love he found in that static noise. Daniel Blumberg, formerly of Yuck and now making his way gingerly into the world of solo performance under his Hebronix moniker, would surely relate. He’s aided here by producer Neil Hagerty, once of Royal Trux and one of Blumberg’s clearest influences.
While the music they’ve come up with on ‘Unreal’ is half a planet away from Murphy’s –the hungover morning after to LCD’s euphoric night before – Blumberg understands the soft, human pleasures that can be found in the sound of machines feeding back. The album is only six tracks long, but with all but one near or over seven minutes, Blumberg is still giving you your money’s worth. Daydreamy 10-minute opener ‘Unliving’ sets the tone, but it’s ‘Viral’ that stands out: summer pop as heard through a narcotic haze. ‘Wild Whim’ is almost as good, a ’70s soft-rock tune played at half-speed by Pavement after a 12-hour blackout sleep.
Blumberg has claimed that he’s never really got into My Bloody Valentine, but before writing ‘Garden’ he must have picked up a love of textured guitars, if not squalling noise. This is shoegaze with the sound down. By closer ‘The Plan’ things are starting to feel a little one-note, but nothing on this album would lead you to expect Blumberg to start pushing himself into wild experimentation. This is warm, sleepy music that buzzes like a fridge. Best heard lying down.
Kevin EG Perry