Boomkat Product Review:
Ever wandered what a cross between GAS, Tim Hecker, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine, Stars of The Lid and Philip Jeck would sound like? If so, you're in luck, for this utterly incredible album from 'The Fun Years' ticks all the above boxes and emerges with a 50 minute listening experience that's left us gasping for breath. There's a dense crackle and frayed balance to these recordings that makes you feel like the whole thing could disintegrate at any moment, pulling you in to a sound-world formed by broken instruments, the crackle of battered, old vinyl, the edgy ambience of the great outdoors in the middle of the night and, quite suddenly, an amplified wall of sound playing tricks on your senses. Each of these tracks begins with the fizz and snap of looped and popped vinyl and ends with a devastated, tumultuous re-arrangement of sounds, but it's the process from A to B that's almost impossible to fathom in one sitting. These kinds of aural tricks that make use of manipulated found sounds, turntablism and affected acoustic instruments are hardly new, but 'The Fun Years' mark themselves out with a brilliant disregard for generic templates and accepted convention, imperceptibly realigning sonic boundaries in the process. That seemingly effortless transition from one sonic methodology to another is what makes this album so special, just listening to the opening track 'My Lowville' takes you from a Philip Jeck style crackle to a reverberating acoustic strum, towering processes reminiscent of Tim Hecker and finally an opaque catharsis transmitted from deep inside Wolfgang Voigt's famous forest. By the time you reach the end of the album you're left astonished at this band's ability to create a sound that's at once so gorgeously warm and familiar, yet so confidently removed from the confines of precedent. Definitely one of the albums of the year - an absolutely essential purchase.