Sonogram: How We Saw Tomorrow (Simulacra Records, 2013)

April 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sonogram: How We Saw Tomorrow

Sonogram: How We Saw Tomorrow

Todd Gautreau seems to have been operating under the radar in all of his long-running projects, from industrial/ambient Tear Ceremony, to shoegaze/indie Crushed Stars, to his downtempo/IDM alias Sonogram. Last year a 2cd Sonogram anthology called Apparent Microdots was released, which was my introduction to this project, and now here’s a new full-length. The 9 tracks here are usually around the 4 or 5 minute mark, feature chilled-out production and analog keyboard sounds, and crunchy beats. “Bloom” is a fragile ambient piano track, “Futurist” has slippery synths and drum machines that remind me of Stereolab circa Dots & Loops, and also Mouse On Mars (who produced some of that album) from that era. “Single Dwelling Structures” starts out still and ambient, but develops a bassline and some muted skittery beats, along with some other somewhat detached sounds. “Glasstop Hotels” is a frosty ambient track, and “Cosmonaut” returns to squishy beats and curious synth melodies and piano. “The Closer You Come, The Further You Are” has some calm, bright tones, and eventually a rumbling Autechre-ish beat, before a more pronounced beat steps in. “Outlands” ends the album with additional piano and ticking beats which aren’t too hard or intrusive but are always changing. The Sonogram sound certainly fits in with the sort of melodic downtempo IDM that n5MD releases, with a definite attention to sonic detail which prevents it from being merely background music.

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