Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sweeping The Nation Albums Of 2010: Number 26

The label bumf describes European Monsoon as Pagan Wanderer Lu's most accessible album yet, only for it to refer to itself as "a few hundred megabytes in iTunes no-one will ever listen to" over buzzing bass frequencies. Yeah, this is still on a scale that doesn't take radio friendly unit shifting into account. It's still the same socio-political lyrics over broken lo-fi DIY electronica it pretty much always was, variously tackling apathy, right wing bigotry, a lack of self-opinion, love as science and technology bringing us down, all over disco bleeps, non-disco bleeps, rickety guitar, knackered analogue keyboards, second hand grooveboxes and things that make odd noises round the edges. Never is the musical stew allowed to overshadow the words but they're there as emphasis rather than necessity.

"How can I banish negative thoughts when everything's so unbearably awful?" asks the chorus of the first track, and while Andy Regan's previous jaundiced worldview is still in evidence things have changed in some quarters. Less directly angry then Fight My Battles For Me and prone to properly affecting proclamations of love, albeit in Regan's own terms ("my chemicals like you too"), there's an optimism riding over the oft present doubt even if that air of wry pessimism over the social strata and musician cynicism is hard to shift. Underneath it's more electronic than his previous full-lengths, sounding less bedroom recorded and with greater sonic depth, often with a proper pop (ie no sort of pop people buy) undercurrent amid its monome course. Regan's quest to force scattershot ambition into its own vaguely accessible shape of warped electronic song trickery continues on a fine course.


Chemicals Like You

Pagan Wanderer Lu - Chemicals Like You from Brainlove on Vimeo.

The full list

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