Galapagoose - Commitments (LP) (2011 TBL019 40mins00secs)
Commitments, the debut LP from Melbourne-based interdisciplinary artist Trent Gill, draws on the looseness of modern beat music with its wild swinging rhythms and stylistic collage. Recorded in a flurry over a brief six-week period, the hypnotic melodies and psychedelic feel document the intensity of the moment, striking hard at the heartstrings. There is a roughness to the compositions, a nod to the DIY process they were created through, occupying that place on the precipice between chaos and beauty. Handmade instruments and kitchen sink percussion layer over one-take electronics and non-looped drum patterns. All the while delicate vocals tell the unfolding story, punctuating grooves and sign-posting the multi-linear narrative.
There is an inward struggle within the album, where wall-of-sound choruses fall into fragile poignancy, as in "Rhizome", or in the extended jazz harmony of "Attachments", pushing the simple pop vocal hook into the realm of spiritual elevation. Songs like "Snuffclutch" and "Weight" ebb and flow with free cyclic rhythms, yet tug at the listener with impassioned melodic motifs and lush textures. Meanwhile the deeply visceral bounce of "Winkler" and opener "Don't Break the Spell" will satisfy the syncopated desires of even the most staunch beat head.
Commitments is a portrait of an artist in constant flux, finding influence from the world over and touching on all corners of the heart and body in the most sonically gratifying ways.
RRR ALBUM OF THE WEEK
"Commitments relies on slow tempo to keep its magic throughout, with spontaneity being one of the main themes as clattering metal and other loud noises contrast with the softness of the subdued samples, as he in fact does manage to keep the spell from breaking throughout the entire album."
"Listen to the album from beginning to end in a pitch black room through a nice set of headphones and you might just come out the other end with a new perspective on the potential of beat albums."
- Potholes In My Blog
"'Commitments' offers all of the electronic wizardry Galapagoose is known for, blending hip hop, house, unexpected samples and a new focus on vocal harmonies in his arrangements."
Order Commitments on 12" handmade, hand screen-printed vinyl through PAYPAL (in Australia only - email info (at) twobrightlakes.com for overseas orders):