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Akron/Family

Akron/Family are four extremely nice, sincere and well-mannered young men from rural America who came to NYC (in 2002) to make music,hoping to find a thread of real magic still winding through this city's music scene. They certainly did just that, but they did it by retreatinginto a tiny Brooklyn apartment, where they made their own world instead, in complete and stubborn isolation. They proceeded (whilesimultaneously growing alarmingly long beards and developing a playful but hermetic quasi-religious/sonic worldview/creed known as "AK"or sometimes "AK-AK") to make several albums worth of ...read more

Akron/Family are four extremely nice, sincere and well-mannered young men from rural America who came to NYC (in 2002) to make music,hoping to find a thread of real magic still winding through this city's music scene. They certainly did just that, but they did it by retreatinginto a tiny Brooklyn apartment, where they made their own world instead, in complete and stubborn isolation. They proceeded (whilesimultaneously growing alarmingly long beards and developing a playful but hermetic quasi-religious/sonic worldview/creed known as "AK"or sometimes "AK-AK") to make several albums worth of recordings on crude home equipment ­ the material compulsively chopped, spliced,and orchestrated into fractal jewels of song and schismatically opposed atmospheres.

They accrued at least 3 albums worth of music in this obsessive manner. Along the way, they sent me the increasingly compelling results.Soon I was completely won over ­ stunned in fact ­ by a show at Brooklyn's Pete's Candy Store, where the music veered from gentle Americancountry folk to unabashed electronic noise to gathering and erupting crescendos, to extended skronk improvisations that then suddenly cutto an LSD version of a backwoods barbershop quartet or a Louvin Brothers spiritual ­ sometimes all within the course of one ridiculously long"song" ­ ha ha! When they all sing together it's like the goddamn Beatles or Beach Boys or maybe an eerie and twisted version of The Band.

When we started work on this album we first spent a good deal of time sifting through the trove of already-recorded songs. A few of those areincluded here with varying amounts of further orchestration. The rest of the songs are highly edited-down studio versions of theabovementioned live "epics", Young God Records not being just yet in the position of being able to release a triple CD debut (!).

They've got an enthusiasm for pure sound too that shows through in many of the songs ­ note the squeaking chair in Italy that Miles "played"or the weirdly skewed composition of Suchness (but still a formidable "pop" song, in my opinion), or the "drum" in Rainforest, which isactually all four Akrons simultaneously violently beating their chests, the resulting percussive sound being the air released from theirmouths with each beat. As we worked, a song would sometimes be described as too "red" or not "aluminum" enough or some other arcane(to me) reference, but inevitably, corrections made with the aid of a screwdriver or maybe the sanded metal rails of a staircase resulted in anunpredictable but "correct" result.

In any event, there's a wealth of sonic variety contained herein, and first and foremost they're great SONGS, and well sung indeed. Icertainly hope you enjoy the music.

michael gira / 2004 « hide

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