Monday, November 2, 2009

Cresting – An E.P. [Fixture]

This is a nifty little CD-r EP from Canada’s Fixture Records. It’s the debut of Montreal’s Gabe Ng a.k.a. Cresting.
The record has a breezy feel, but not the typical California breezy feel. It’s more like walking along a beach in the Northeast (or Northwest for that matter) with grey clouds gathered and billowing on the horizon and a chilly wind enveloping you. The atmosphere of the record is definitely important here, as the keyboards and pre-recorded drumbeats are wrapped in gauzy lo-fi production values to great effect.
The first track “A Bottom Hill” is based around a shuffling drum machine and stuttering keyboard. The melody sort of wobbles around, never fully repeating a clear cycle, but being more of a collection of random fragments with a similar theme in mind. “Sprained Ankle” is my favorite cause it’s a bit of a feel good number. A jaunty descending/ascending melody bounces along through the fogginess of the record bringing a brief, upbeat ray of sunshine amongst the clouds. “Variation on a Variation” builds around a number of short loops of guitar and keyboard and gets increasing askew and disjointed as it moves along. “Sashes” almost comes out like a twee hip hop beat. A groovy drumbeat and some keyboard-on-the-vibraphone-setting noodling. It’s a cool track but it’s really the addition of another organ melody halfway through and that really seals it. It’s a jam I like more and more each time I listen.
Ng then gets more abstract with “Crow’s Call” which moves on a couple seasick keyboard loops before bringing in drum machine and touches of harmonica half way through. The song turns into one of the more understated and unexpected grooves of the disc. The closer “Squared Feet” layers a bunch of rhythmic piano lines on top of each other forming yet another nice groove, but more organically and more complexly this time. It doesn’t feel like long before it’s over, which can be said of the disc as a whole as well. The CD makes for particularly pleasant listening now that we’re in the midst of Autumn.
The disc is still in print and available from the Fixture website.

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