Music

Appliance: Six Modular Pieces

Joel Hanson

Appliance

Six Modular Pieces

Label: Mute
US Release Date: 2000-07-18
Amazon
iTunes

Appreciating the sounds of Six Modular Pieces requires a type of patient listening more suited to those who enjoy ethnic or world music. In a majority of "eastern" stylings, the "song" moves at an almost languid pace, individual notes take on an added importance, and the piece doesn't move in a discernable direction until several minutes have passed. Nevertheless, the subsequent mood generated by the music is designed as a springboard for creative thought and, hopefully -- like the most effective film, novel or song -- the journey will be different with each listening.

In combining this musical philosophy with the use of synths, samplers and guitars, Exeter-based (UK) Appliance has followed the sonic tradition of their trance-inducing brethren Kraftwerk, Neu, and, more recently, Spiritualized, 2 Lone Swordsmen and Boards of Canada. However, Appliance separates themselves from their contemporaries by completing their droning, atmospheric journeys in a span of three to seven minutes, and, more importantly, no hallucinogens are necessary to participate in the excursion. While vocalist James Brooks sounds as though he is no stranger to the visual wonders of mescaline, his voice functions merely as another effective instrument in the mix�one that doesn't require an altered state to value.

In order to test the above assertion -- that Appliance utilizes an eastern approach to music which can be enjoyed without drugs -- take Six Modular Pieces into your car, find an unfamiliar stretch of highway at dawn, and listen intently to the CD at a volume loud enough to blot out the wind of the road and the hum of the engine. If by the third track, "Derailleur, King of the Mountain," you find yourself enraptured by the streams of sunlight flickering through the passing trees instead of waving your arms above the steering wheel in drum set pantomime, Appliance will have passed the test.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Film

Masaki Kobayashi's 'Kwaidan' Horror Films Are Horrifically Beautiful

The four haunting tales of Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan are human and relatable, as well as impressive at a formal and a technical level.

Film

The Top 10 Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Films

Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

Books

'The Kill Chain': Why America Might Lose Its Next Big War

Christian Brose's defense-nerd position paper, The Kill Chain, inadvertently reveals that the Pentagon's problems (complacency, inertia, arrogance) reflect those of the country at large.

Music

2006's 'Flat-Pack Philosophy' Saw Buzzcocks Determined to Build Something of Quality

With a four-decade career under their belt, on the sixth disc in the new box-set Sell You Everything, it's heartening to see Buzzcocks refusing to settle for an album that didn't try something new.

Books

'Lie With Me': Beauty, Love and Toxic Masculinity in the Gay '80s

How do we write about repression and toxic masculinity without valorizing it? Philippe Besson's Lie With Me is equal parts poignant tribute and glaring warning.

Music

Apparat's 'Soundtrack: Capri-Revolution' Stands Alone As a Great Ambient Experience

Apparat's (aka Sascha Ring) re-imagined score from Mario Martone's 2018 Capri-Revolution works as a fine accompaniment to a meditational flight of fancy.

Music

Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers Merge Haitian Folk and Electronic Music on 'Vodou Alé'

Haitian roots music meets innovative electronics on Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers' Vodou Alé.

My Favorite Thing

Weird and Sweet, Riotous and Hushed: The Beatles' 'The White Album'

The Beatles' 'The White Album' is a piece of art that demonstrates how much you can stretch, how far you can bend, how big you really are. The album is deeply weird. It has mass. It has its own weather.

Music

Sarah Jarosz Finds Inspiration in Her Texas Roots on 'World on the Ground'

By turning to her roots in central Texas for inspiration on World on the Ground, Sarah Jarosz has crafted some of her strongest songs yet.

Music

Hinds' 'The Prettiest Curse' Is One of Victory

On The Prettiest Curse, Hinds create messy pop music that captures the vibrancy of youth without being childish.

Music

12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.

Music

Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.