Atlantic Drone - s/t
(Noiseville 2007, CD)
From Aural Innovations #38 (January 2008)
I had a difficult time trying to pin down just what Atlantic Drone was up to, but after a few listens, some ideas started to emerge. The Baldwinsville, NY duo consists of Steven Cerio on drums, percussion, tapes and lyrics; and Jim Drago on bass, with various guests on guitars, horns and vocals. But that tells us little about their sound. The album artwork (by Cerio) seems somewhat inspired by the whimsy of Japanese children's shows, as does the use of occasional child-like vocals and cute non-sequitur song titles like Little Miss Expanding Universe and Minty Pony Gallops Away. But the Krautrockish drones, rhythms and sound textures tell another story. It's like Teutonic seriousness colliding head-on with Asian pop culture, sounding like both and yet neither. Indeed, many of the sounds on their self-titled debut would not be out of place on an Acid Mother's Temple album (a Japanese band obsessed with psychedelic Krautrock), though Atlantic Drone is never quite so heavy and over-the-top as AMT is. There's a control here, a crafted sound that is still loose enough to sound natural and organic, but composed enough to not become lost in noise and confusion. The use of horns adds a jazzy element as well, as if Sun Ra's Arkestra occasionally wanders through the mix, searching for their lost leader. It's a challenging listen, but it's cool stuff...the kind of cool that wears dark sunglasses. It's worth checking out.
For more information you can visit the Atlantic Drone Myspace site at: http://www.myspace.com/atlanticdrone and http://www.happyhomeland.com.
Visit the Noiseville web site at: http://www.noiseville.com.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald
There's so much going on across the 13 tracks on this album that it defies simple description. There are stand alone tracks, but overall it's a collage of sounds, melodies, guitars, keyboards, percussion, electronics, efx'd voices, ambience, jazz elements and so much more, that all come together into a gorgeously bizarre yet completely cohesive whole. I've not heard so many elements smashed together in such an artistically freaky way since Vas Deferens Organization's heyday. In summary, this is one of the most lysergic, mind-bending, yet creatively controlled and varied albums I've heard this year. Definitely the more progressive side of the space-psych axis.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz