All India Radio

A Low High

by Dan Raper

28 July 2009

 
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(Ais)
US: 26 May 2009
UK: 6 May 2009

Martin Kennedy, an Australian musician, is not widely known, though he’s been steadily working behind the scenes – soundtracking local TV shows and working here and there with Steve Kilbey (of the Church) and Graham Lee (of the Triffids). All India Radio is intended to be his “experimental” project, though over the course of the band’s five albums since 2000 its experimentalism has taken more the form of downbeat instrumentals, whose electronic wizadry is hidden in the form’s slow-evolving, big-sky atmospherics. It’s music out of time and seems architecturally constructed to retrieve memory. “Lucky” is like this, landing on a note just to have it refract into echoes. The woozy guitars and echoing drums of this music all run together after a while. Occasionally, the hypnotic vision is crystallised—as on “White Satin”, a standout track built off a plaintive trumpet riff. But much of the rest of the time, attractive and evocative though the music is, A Low High drags, ever so slightly.

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