Albert And Leonard Put Things In Holes
"Valium Hop: the name of the new genre Comatone a.k.a. G.L. Seiler coined to describe the music on Albert and Leonard Put Things in Holes, his new split release with Sleuthound. I can see how this is a fitting name, as Valium is mainly used to treat anxiety and tension by producing a drowsy or calming effect, and this split album is definitely some good music to chill out to. However, it will not yield quite the same effects as Valium, nor will it put you to sleep, as some of the tracks are very catchy and can indeed be addictive.
G.L. Seiler is an electronic artist who has released two albums under the Comatone pseudonym as well as a highly regarded collaborative effort with classically trained pianist Amanda Handel which was reviewed back in 2006. Not much is known about Sleuthound other than the fact that he is one of Seiler's fellow producers at Blue Mountain Sound in Australia. Each artist contributes four tracks to the album, adding up to about twenty five minutes of music from each.
Comatone’s turn comes first and the eight minute opener “Winter Diary” starts with some delicately struck bells followed by several trumpet notes drenched in reverb. Once the electronic drumbeat kicks in, I’m immediately reminded of one of my favorite releases of the year, Arms and Sleepers’ Black Paris 86. The beat evolves quickly, interspersed with electronic glitches and thousand beat per minute spurts. As the song continues, Comatone begins to layer on some synth vocals, a thumping bass line and hi hat cymbals which are beautifully spread across the stereo spectrum. About three and a half minutes into the song the beat drops out and the focus is taken by some sampled dialogue regarding fear, madness, and the fact that “only the evil that men do lives after them.”
The Hop half of Valium Hop is shown when Comatone begins to cut up the dialogue like a record being scratched by a Hip Hop D.J. A clean guitar melody enters the fray at the same point as the scratching and the drums build back up to finish the song. The production on this and all of Comatone’s tracks is excellent and shows he possesses a true mastery of his craft. It’s no wonder that he sticks with his talents during the day while mastering material for other musicians.
The following two Comatone tracks “The Sun Sets Over a Bad Day” and “Leonard’s Lesson” fit the same general blueprint of the first. There are layers of clean and heavily effected guitar, piano, bells and various ambient sound effects led by catchy electronic drumbeats. Comatone’s fourth and final contribution, “A Haunting in the Surface Noise,” begins with some sampled choir vocals which swell in volume and are eventually joined by volume swelled guitar. The song is a bit more slowly paced than the other three tracks and also features some gently plucked acoustic guitar. The drum beat is also a bit more organic, that is until about three and a half minutes in when the glitchy electronics return and take hold.
Sleuthound’s side of the split begins with what sounds like a train coming to a stop, followed by some footsteps and sampled dialogue warning about the threat of scorpions in Africa. Reverse guitar with some very heavy reverb fills the background and about a minute and forty five seconds in a boom bap type drum beat enters. Sleuthound’s drums also make use of electronic glitches and they become more and more prevalent as “Albert Goes Outside” continues. The second track “Four Blue Candles” features droning guitars and vocals soaked in effects which are used as another instrument, rather than as a focal point for the piece. Throughout Sleuthound’s four tracks the drums suddenly disappear and then reappear. The feedback and droning guitars which remain when the drums exit could easily be used as ambient music to fall asleep to, but the drums don’t always mesh well with the ambient soundscapes he creates, even sounding forced at some points.
This is the main weakness with his half of the split, other than the fact that there is no sense of melody, except perhaps for the final track “One Hook in the Ceiling,” which contains a slow moving organ line. The feedback-laden atmosphere Sleuthhound creates with his music has a very eerie feel to it and I feel that his music would work much better without the drums at all. Despite these flaws, I highly recommend this album to fans of Arms and Sleepers or Hip Hop; you will definitely enjoy Comatone’s side of the split.
The Silent Ballet
released 01 February 2008
Licensed to Feral Media.
Side A : Comatone
The Sun Sets Over A Bad Day
Leonard's Lesson 3
*A Haunting in The Surface Noise
All Tracks Written, Arranged and Performed by G.L.Seiler
Side B : Sleuthound
Albert Goes Outside
Four Blue Candles
**One Hook In The Ceiling
All Tracks Written and Arranged by G.Danos
Guitars and Keyboards by G.L.Seiler except ** keyboards by Davey.
Bass On "Albert Goes Outside" by Morgan Lawless
Artwork by Tim Andrew
Mixed and Mastered at Blue Mountain Sound
* and ** Download exclusive tracks.
Infinite respects and thank yous to...
Danny and Caroline, Tim, Andy at B.M.S. Feral Media. Morgan.
Davey, Greg and Greg thank each other.
The Handel Entourage.
Fenella Kernebone, Peter Hollo, Luke Dubs + El Gusto, Friends, Family.
And supporters of Comatone.