Boomkat Product Review:
*Another unfathomably great transmission from the mighty Olde English Spelling Bee - compressing a world of hazy 1980's pop edits and television broadcasts on one dense, oddly unsettling LP - so good* Rangers aka Joe Knight sits us in the passenger seat for another incredible cruise around the grey interzone of 1980's suburbia on this, his excellent debut LP release. 'Suburban Tours' was inspired by his move from the outskirts of his native Dallas, Texas, to a rainy San Francisco, where his loneliness grew into eleven tracks of pop-inspired, avant-smudged melancholia. The obvious comparison point is James Ferraro or Ariel Pink and their expressions of white American solitary poplife, but the tape editing processes and drained 80s funk of these tracks gives 'Suburban Tours' it's own autistic aura. Knight draws on the foggy memory of records by Steely Dan, Weather Report and Prefab Sprout, assembling a degraded sheen of 80s funk that's generally not found among many of his fellow Hypnagogic explorers. The uncomforting factor comes to light when his edits bunch into looped cul-de-sacs, like we're exploring the landscaped terrain of some gated community and the road/tape inexplicably folds into itself, we feel like we should be moving forward, wanting to get out of there, but we're were not getting anywhere. Perhaps this is his take on the stultifying nature of American middle-class suburban life? Or English, for that matter. Either way, the effect is oddly moving, blending the neon evening glow of an inner-city night drive with tones of a greyer, and more insipid suburban landscape.