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ribbons - Royals
Jherek Bischoff has served as a member/contributor to Xiu Xiu, Parenthetical Girls and The Dead Science, having also produced records for the likes of Casiotone For The Painfully Alone during the course of his career to date, but now the musical polymath embarks upon a solo career under the banner of Ribbons, serving as an outlet for Bischoff's more theatrical, classical tendencies as well as his deft electronic pop songwriting style. 'All Of Us' is a great starting point, piling on pulsating electronic beats and wiry, lonesome string drones from the very beginning, before ultimately swelling up to a grandiose orchestral swirl in its final third. It's actually rather strange on first listen, almost sounding too busy for its own good, but there's plenty to latch onto here. Next comes 'The Last And Least Likely', which clarifies Bischoff's sound a little, coming across like a Bond theme in its opening bars before settling into a bombastic quiet-loud dynamic that takes up an awful lot of dynamic range - this is essentially just one guy's 'noodling', after all. Yet more impressive orchestration awaits on the echoic experimentation of 'Automatism', and then there's the unique, multi-layered 'Silver Locket', complete with quivering synth strings and Antony Hegarty-like tremulous falsetto. Bischoff still succeeds even when he shifts into a more conventional rock-oriented gear, getting a bit Foals-like with his stuttering, blurted out guitars on 'Children's Song' and weaving a splendid electro-rock discourse out of 'Tongue Tied'. As if Bischoff's credentials could get any more impressive, a quick consultation with the album credits reveals that he not only mixed and produced this record, but he even mastered the thing too. Excellent work.