Patrick Sisson - Writer, Journalist, Cultural Documentarian, Music Lover

Category: Music Reviews

Music Review Pitchfork October 23, 2009 Link 7.2 When instrumental rock bands get tapped for soundtracks, it can be kind of a gut-check that tests how a wider audience may view their music. Sigur Rós’ folkloric melodrama and emotive language made sense as a backdrop for Vanilla Sky, itself a sort of sci-fi fairytale about […]

Music Review XLR8R October 14, 2009 Link Part of the millennial hip-hop avant garde that included groups like dälek and Company Flow, Anti-Pop Consortium paired Earl Blaze’s dystopian, mechanical beats with a trio of steely, free-associating MCs who crammed complex wordplay into three-minute tracks. It wasn’t always a formula for laughs, but on their last […]

Music Review Pitchfork October 12, 2009 Link 6.7 Showcasing his stuttering spin on hip-hop beats, 23-year-old Glaswegian producer Ross Birchard, who records as Hudson Mohawke, demonstrates no shortage of ideas and energy on Butter. Like the album’s neon-scorched cover, which includes hawks with mohawks, he doesn’t do restraint or subtlety. “Joy Fantastic” has to be […]

Music Review Pitchfork October 2009 Link 6.9 A Strange Arrangement, in addition to being the name of Mayer Hawthorne’s falsetto-laced debut, also describes the story behind the making of this one-man soul studio. Performing in L.A. as DJ Haircut, Michigan-born hip-hop fan Drew Cohen thought it would be interesting to record his own sample-friendly music. […]

Music Review Pitchfork June 2009 Link 4.5 “Oh you don’t know the half of it.” Said in an over-the-top manner, this was David Bowie’s inauspicious kick-off to an over-sentimental start to “Life on Mars”. Like the rest of his 1999 performance on “VH1’s Storytellers” series, it poses a question, or more accurately, suggests the audience […]

Music Review XLR8R September 2009 Link 8.0 Filled with buoyant beats, 8-bit shoot-outs, and pastel-funky melodies, Mary Anne Hobbs’ latest compilation contains everything you’d expect from the British tastemaker’s broadcast, minus her ecstatic voiceovers. Connecting different strata of bass music, Hobbs showcases some of its more colorful, glittering strains, including Gemmy’s “Rainbow Road” and Nosaj […]

Music Review XLR8R September 2009 Link 7.0 Dubby musical explorations don’t require a full payload of bass. Nudge isn’t strictly dub by any means, but the group’s slow-burning electro-acoustic tracks often have that billowy feel associated with shacks-turned-studios in Jamaica. On their fourth album, the band plays with ambient sound and space and abuses delay […]

Music Review XLR8R August 2009 Link 7.0 The rock aesthetes in Sian Alice Group have a fetish for tones and textures, from electronic pulses and Velvets-like riffs to scratched guitar strings, which they tweak, layer, and slowly fade throughout their songs. Much of the London group’s sparse music floats by effortlessly without much rhythmic variation, […]

Music Review XLR8R July 2009 Link 7.5 It’s been a more than a decade since Oneida dropped its debut, but this Brooklyn collective’s unshackled, invigorating psychedelic rock has only become more vital, splitting into sections both refined and carefree. Rated O—a triple album, the second in a planned triptych—seemingly begs for quality control. Oneida’s jams […]

Music Review XLR8R June 2009 Link 7.0 Retrofitting the results of jam sessions and distilling them into bracing minimal beats, Marco Freivogel and Ingo Gansera create lively, long-form riffs on techno. In Cars We Rust doesn’t meddle with jazz or big beat, instead trafficking in cold, metallic shades of sound and crisp percussion. “It’s Happening […]