Alias: Well Water Black (feat. Yoni Wolf of Why?)

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AliasAlias’ first solo instrumental album in five years, one which finds the accomplished electro/acoustic musician and beat-smith returning to a proven foundation, while building all else anew. Alias’ most melodic work yet, Resurgam is also an album of heavy, intricate rhythms. Features Yoni Wolf of WHY? and The One AM Radio.

But Resurgam is also an album of heavy, intricate rhythms, as evidenced by introductory banger “New To A Few,” and “M.G. Jack,” which begins with the cool asceticism of Boards Of Canada, but peaks with an Avalanches-like exuberance, interweaving patterns of distorted beat-boxing, live percussion, Casio-styled effects, and burbling synth. For all of its melodic breadth, Resurgam is imbued with a hip-hop bent that has Alias exploring complex beat-fuckery a la Prefuse 73 even as he’s howling notes like Tunde Adibempe (“Resurgam”), or dicing a Re-Up Gang sample to sprinkle over pensive piano (“Autumnal Ego”).

Resurgam is also notable for its two collaborative tracks. The first, “Well Water Black” features the falsettos croons and low-toned poems of WHY?’s Yoni Wolf–a perfect bit of upbeat downer music that somehow unites The Cure and Burial before crashing into a propulsive, programmed drum solo from Alias. And toward the album’s end, the One AM Radio guests on “The Weathering,” which paints a wistful dream-scene via icy lyrics and frost-melting fuzz. Though Resurgam was recorded at home, in a six-month burst straddling a blustery winter, its songs feel worldly, considered, and warm, like gentle hands pushing the listener ever onward. By the time we reach Alias’ final wordless statement–titled “Oakland In The Rearview”–it’s easy to believe that we too have arrived at more comforting climes.  [ioda]

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“Well Water Black (feat. Yoni Wolf of WHY?)” (mp3)
from “Resurgam”

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