Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ducktails - Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics (2011)

I can agree that the Lo-Fi recording has been a trend for a while; with this tendency self made artists have been encouraged to release more material and get it out of the public. But the trend also has a reason of being, and that is that there is romance and passion involved in the idea of some artists locked in a room recording in cassettes and making layers and layers of sound, the effect of the sound has a very unique and appealing sound. That said, this makes a little bit hard the separation between good or bad, or makes a lot of self made records sound like more of the same, only the ones that have more creativity, more musical inspiration or ability to caught interesting ideas between the sound of the music stand in the crowed.

In the case of Ducktails second the LP III: Arcade Dynamics, the story is pretty much the same, self made, Lo-Fi, a bit more shoegaze this time around and the only thing that comes new is the record label. Ducktails is the solo project of Real State and Predator Vision’s member Matt Mondanile and this time he maintains instrumental songs but also adds songwriting and much more interesting guitar riffs and reverb, such as the song featuring Panda Bear Killin’ the Vibe, that sets apart from the tropical atmosphere of the first LP but stays close enough giving a chilled rhythm that goes great with the beach. I see it like the 2009 LP (Landscapes) was an album inspired in a summer day, and this time around the sound is more for a summer night.

There are still Hawaiian guitars, a lot more songwriting, and a really fantastic instrumental wrap up that plays with the sound of applauses and fireworks that give the feeling of a performance in a park one 4th of July after a day on a beach.

The curious thing about this record is that in general these music tend to blur in the background and you listen to it without paying attention but I find it impossible to do that with this LP, some songs just shout “stop what you’re doing and listen to me”, is that good for a Lo-Fi recording, I find myself distracted with stuff like Neon Indian, Toro y Moi, Night Jewel, even sometimes with Animal Collective, but this little piece of music without wanting it completely makes enough for you to stop, take a listen, reflect a little and then smile, like a little mischievous wink from someone you like, impossible to ignore, but still innocent.

This album is straight on surf pop and it’s truly a pretty and opaque LP that can worth the listen.


1. In The Swing
2. Hamilton Road
3. Sprinter
4. The Razor's Edge
5. Sunset Liner (for e. young)
6. Little Window
7. Killin The Vibe
8. Arcade Shift
9. Don't Make Plans
10. Art Vandelay
11. Porch Projector

Rate: 8/10

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