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Friday, July 11, 2014

Jukeboxer - Man Throughout the Ages

Name: Jukeboxer
Album: Man Throughout the Ages
Year: 2002
Style: Ambient Electro-Pop
Similar Bands: Stereolab, Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Ambient Brian Eno
"One-Word" Review: Moog Pop
Based Out Of: Brooklyn, NY
Label: Memphis Industries
 Man Throughout the Ages - Cover, Record, Mail In Form
                                                                      Man Throughout the Ages - Cover, Record, Mail In Form
Man Throughout the Ages (2002)

  1. Man Throughout the Ages 2:18
  2. Even Little Stunts 3:59/
  3. Won't You Sing With Now I Know My 3:21
  4. Sea Chantey 4:39

Album Rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Noah Wall - Vox, Composer, Electronics, Guitar, Keyboard (Tall Firs)

Amy Jones - Vox (Tuffy)
Tim Barnes - Drums, Mastering (Silver Jews, Neil Michael Hagerty, Essex Green, Jim O'Rourke, Tower Recordings, Matt Valentine, Sonic Youth, Text of Light, Beth Orton, Wilco)
Ben Piekut - Pots & Pans
Guy - Mastering

I’ve never heard of this band. I do like the cardboard cover, and the imagery/artwork, so that was a nice start. Made in UK label does not mean much, but it feels exotic. It is only an EP, so not much of an effort to decipher. Overall, I was just interested in what this record had on it.

Album Review: Jukeboxer is basically just the name for Noah Wall, an extrodinary musician who can play many many instruments. One account said that he writes more in a classical structure than pop-song. Overall the songs feel earthy, yet electronic. Ambient, but full of direction. The vocals demand the listener’s attention.

“Man Throughout the Ages” starts out with a carousel style steel drum, and a fun, playful sing song melody. The female vocals begin, and are fey, polite, and acute. Tt sounds like something from Belle & Sebastian or Camera Obscura on the slower side. Or even Saturday Looks Good to me. The organ is very important to the song, tying it all together. There are male vocals layered below toward the end. The song just feels too short, but it is very precise.
“Even Little Stunts” feels like a chrismas carol in the beginning with sleighbell percussion. This quickly changes with the addition of electronic fuzz and grinding, screeching guitars full of feed back. The song restarts itself with a carousel organ melody, and what sound like a variety of bird chirps. The light, pretty female vocals, couples with the male vocals set back bring an elegance and direction to the melody, which is ever-evolving without the vocals. A chaotic arrangement of different sound effects are layered over and under the main driving rhythm of  marching drums. The end of the song just features melodic feedback and the closing in march of percussion.

“Won't You Sing With Now I Know My” has echoing watery guitars like deep chimes in the begging. Following this up are moog-like electro notes ascending, then descending. A rattle symbolizes a radio station change, and the eerie female vocals begin. It still has a Belle & Sebastian feel to it, perhaps visualized through an Aphex Twin filter. The song finds its groove and becomes repetitive to the point of droning on, like a loop entrancing the listener. The song ends with an emphasis on the main hill/valley hook present in the song.
“Sea Chantey” starts with a ringing untuned guitar chord that is slowly strum. A general ambient ringing fades in and out, like a lighthouse beacon slowly rotating. The mood is sullen and dark: sad and brooding. Then out of the darkness comes an acoustic guitar bringing a warbley racket ball like effect in the background and the song takes shape and direction with a slightly upbeat melody. The darkness is still there in this instrumental. The bass line is perhaps the most interesting, and immediately catching element of the song, even after other Atari Break Out effects are added, it still stands to be reckoned with. Those elements fade, as if our boat has passed the lighthouse, and interesting town, and is now back out to sea. I’m just using the sea as a point of description because of the title, but the sounds, the now lonely ambient drips that sound like underwater whale dialogue, lend themselves to life on the sea.

Stand Out Track: Man Throughout the Ages

Noah Wall's page
Absolutely Kosher
Noah's Bandcamp
Forced Exposure

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