WHITE RAINBOW’S NEW CLOUDS
It has been at least a couple of years since post-rock has successfully held my attention. Pre-chillwave and electronic music explosion, I used to be a pretty die hard post-rock and post-metal fan, actually. My favorite scene was the incestual, Montreal-based Constellation Records/Alien8 Recordings squad, which boasts releases by Do Make Say Think, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band.
All post-apocalypses aside, however, I quickly came to notice that more shoegaze- and electronic-tinged acts like Keser, The Sight Below, and Sigur Rós held my attention for much longer and with greater power than the more experimental and analog works coming out of “Kanada”. I still hold my very first show ever, seeing A Silver Mt. Zion live in Lawrence, Kansas, very dear to my heart, but for the most part, I have moved on to more user-friendly sounds, at least for the most part.
Enter Adam Forkner (White Rainbow). Loosely grouped in with the token Wikipedia list of chillwave acts, Adam Forkner’s persona is akin to that of Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) or Chris D’eon, occupying that surreal, metaphysical space between worlds. He’s one of those characters that just tends to float on, living in a rural village outside of Portland (where the dream of the nineties is, of course, alive) making tapes and tapes, all the while venerated by a cult group of experimental music lovers. He has been involved with Landing, Surface of Eceon, and Yume Bitsu (which explains the post-rock influence) and has collaborated with Dirty Projectors, Devendra Banhart, and Atlas Sound. I had the pleasure of hearing White Rainbow’s “Thassssindid Pleasant Hazes” at a critical point in my musical odyssey, wherein the gears and cogs were slowly turning in my head, turning me on to this whole retro, psychedelic haze that Neon Indian started. I guess the largely ambient track was a demo that may or may not have been used to jumpstart the creation of New Clouds, but either way, it put this act on my personal radar. After snatching a copy of an excerpt of “Tuesday Rollers and Strollers” (since the song’s, like, eighteen goddamn minutes long) from RCRD LBL’s vault, I featured it on TSQ VOL NINE and filed it away in the back of my mind. Reviewing my musical twists and turns the day before yesterday, I figured it was time to entertain some more White Rainbow. His New Clouds is a collection of four rather lengthy studies on tribal beatmaking, vocal ululation, and synth euphoria, all the while gradually shifting the musical mood to and fro at whim. At its core, it is an experimental album, but don’t let that scare you, o Washed Out fans. New Clouds is a thousand times more enthralling and features far more replayability than, say, Animal Collective’s Here Comes the Indian (aka “There was an album before Sung Tongs?). If you like the psychedelic sounds of Ducktails, the electronic paranoia of Emeralds, or the layered wailing prevalent in Panda Bear’s art, do tha right thing and give White Rainbow’s New Clouds a spin. Don’t forget to pay to play, of course, via Amazon, iTunes, or Kranky Records.
MP3 Download of “Tuesday Rollers and Strollers (excerpt)”, by White Rainbow (from New Clouds)
MP3 Download of “Thassssindid Pleasant Hazes”, by White Rainbow (from New Clouds Demos)