Review: Mountains – Centralia
Published on January 25th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Brooklyn duo Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg put the synthy splendour of 2011’s Air Museum largely to one side on their latest LP Centralia, taking flight instead on seven waves of rapture of an altogether more organic constitution.
At least that’s how it sounded to Rocksucker at first; upon investigation, it seems that Mountains have shifted from an approach of electronically manipulating acoustic source material to one of simply combining acoustic and electronic sounds, stacking layer upon layer until their particular brand of gushing rapture has been achieved.
However, the organic elements sound more, er, central to Centralia than they did to Air Museum, hence the idle summation of our opening paragraph. (Lazy journos: don’tcha just love ’em?) Anyway, opener “Sand” sounds like a Broken Social Scene intro or interlude, a wave of soothing bleeps and echo chamber string that imbues all it engulfs with blissed-out, drony instrumental wonder.
“Identical Ship” introduces acoustic fingerpicking into the mix, before “Circular C” twins drone and guitar with beguiling results, gently swelling and subsiding its own slow-burning intensity then handing the reins over to piano and some strange bleeps. It reminds just a tad of “The Piccolo Snare” by Super Furry Animals, if you’d care to check that out for yourself.
“Tilt” evidences what Mountains are all about with a vast-sounding drop-D open-tuning and whirring sci-fi noises placed subtl in the mix, while the twenty-minute “Propeller” sounds so much like a propeller that Rocksucker thought “hey, this sounds like a propeller” before the checking the title and seeing that it is indeed called “Propeller”. The propeller itself would be on MDMA judging by the enraptured GY!BE wilderness of it, and this rapture is gradually intensified in a Mogwai-circa-Happy–Songs–For–Happy–People kind of way.
After the bleepy gorgeousness/gorgeous bleepiness of “Liana”, “Living Lens” rides us out on an ominous-sounding note, a sudden and belated shift of mood that fortunately Centralia does not suffer for. If you can’t drop acid by a campfire this weekend, listen to this instead.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Centralia is out now on Thrill Jockey. For more information, please visit www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Mountains