Applesauce Tears: Departure (Black Cottage, 2021)

March 10, 2021 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Applesauce Tears: Departure

Atlanta’s Applesauce Tears have so far released nine albums of trippy, cinematic instrumental rock, coming close to similar territory as the Octopus Project and Black Moth Super Rainbow, or even the subliminal downtempo of Odd Nosdam and Boards of Canada, but approaching all of it from different directions. Opener “A Warmer Coat of Hoarfrost” has thundering Amen breaks combined with other polyrhythms, interacting with swarms of electronic fuzz. “Harnessed for a Repeat” recalls the live instrumentation of the Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head, but with a knottier, jazzier vibe. “A Balladeer Called Cloud” is super nice and hazy, with lots of echoed bird chirps (or sounds that resemble them) and sighing voices, as well as some more complex parts that might sneak up on you if you’re chilling too hard. “Town of Tim” touches on exotica and Balearic house, but with a slightly uneasy haze to it. “Sexi Cali Speedway” switches from upbeat Aphex Twin to hazy Dilla vibes, while all sort of having a live-but-programmed feel to it, if that makes sense. “From Omsk to Tomsk” also has some nice beat switch-ups and is quite dancey, except when the beats get clattery and there’s wafting strings. “The World’s First Zero” starts off hinting at a deep level of sentimentality, but curiously decides to abandon that pretty quickly and continues down more of a nonchalant trip-hop path. Good stuff from a mega-creative group who curiously remain under the radar.

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