Saturday, April 12, 2008

Album: Albinobeach - Albinobeach EP

Band: Albinobeach
Album: Albinobeach EP
Label: Forgotten Empire Records
Year: 2008

01.Okavango Delta
04.Cathedral Peak

Republic of South Africa, January 22, 2008 - Albinobeach, an instrumental mantric-rock trio hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, have released their long-awaited debut self-titled EP on the 22nd of January 2008, through US Indie label Forgotten Empire Records. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Forgotten Empire is a fledgling, but rapidly expanding music label which is the spiritual home to a diverse roster of bands ranging from metal and hardcore to experimental, post-rock and ambient styles- including Texas’ The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, Italy’s The Dead Elephant, and UK’s GP-00. Although a little more subdued than the majority of Forgotten Empire’s catalogue, albinobeach’s debut is a worthy addition to their line-up in that it shares in a like-minded pursuit of emotional depth and originality.

The initial impression of albinobeach’s EP is this of how truly polished the sound is. Although a debut recording, it is light-years away from a mere demo. The drummer Garrick Van Der Tuin, who also doubles as a sound engineer/producer (Hugh Masekela, Zamajobe, Mpemba Effect, 340ml), has created a crisp soundscape immersed in layers of sampling which provide a constant ambient dimension to the EP’s sound. In sacrificing vocals for an exclusively instrumental approach, the trio have drawn heavily from their different musical backgrounds and influences in search of a unique sound.

All five tracks included in the Albinobeach's EP maintain a uniformity of style – heavily reverberated guitar (Ian Finch), slow-core drumming, and lateral bass (Kalin Pashaliev) reminiscent of a number of contemporary and retro hard rock bands, and yet, the overall sound of the EP ultimately comes across as if it was bred in isolation. The elemental and serpentine quality of the majority of song structures stand as a testament to Albinobeach’s preoccupation with dynamic progression, as opposed to more traditional hook-based rock structures. Such an approach to songwriting, however, would be in danger of quickly wearing thin if it wasn’t for the wealth of Albinobeach’s musicianship, as anyone who has witnessed their hypnotic live sets would attest to. - Free Press Release


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