Monday, March 16, 2009

ARTIST: Gregor Samsa

Gregor Samsa is a group you might have a hard time pinning a label on. People have used terms like post-rock or slowcore to describe them, but neither of those really do it for me. While fans of Sigur Ros or Explosions in the Sky will find a lot to enjoy here, I'm hesitant to draw too close a comparison. Their music is too symphonic to be slapped with a post-rock label - I think there's more Nico Muhly or Philip Glass here than Mogwai, if you know what I mean. Fronted vocally by both Champ Bennett and Nikki King, their male/female interplay heightens the composed nature of these songs, lifting them out of the typical rock&roll outgrowth. All that aside though, this is just really pretty music.

Their new record, Over Air, just came out last Tuesday. It includes a recording of their live radio performance on Amsterdam's VPRO radio station in May 2008. It's pretty amazing - and if the music itself doesn't initially wow you, hopefully the fact that it was recorded live will. The sound of the micro-orchestra they've assembled behind Bennett and King's vocals is breath-taking, and the sound is pristine. There are a few remixes on here as well, but the real gold is in the live tracks - if you like what you hear, check out these songs in their original forms on their previous records, Rest, 55:12, and 27:36.

Gregor Samsa - Three / VPRO
from the album Over Air (Amazon/iTunes)

1 comment:

bbond said...

oh my sweet goodness! This song is amazingly awesome. I am chain-hearing this song for almost an hour. Love it! So good to have friends who can find awesome music