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Friday, January 8, 2016

(la) Belle Aurore - Revolve

Name: La Belle Aurore
Album: Revolve
Year: 2002
Style: Lo-Fi Art Rock
Similar Bands: Hail Social, Doors, Moog Cookbook, Ween, Ghostwriters
One Word Review: Wobbly Minimal Psych-Sci-Fi
Based Out Of: Washington DC
Label: Matthew Lawrence Ritenburg 

 Revolve - Cover, Liner Image, CD
Revolve - Back, Liner Notes
Revolve (2002)
  1. Carbonite 1:03
  2. Juice Party Fun 3:02
  3. Skybird 3:07
  4. Serotonin Guests 1:33
  5. Time Can Ghost 3:56
  6. Time, Electricity, Sincerity 0:47
  7. Remember That Letter 4:37
  8. Thursday Years 4:04
Album Rating (1-10): 6.0

Members & Other Bands: (nothing in/on CD)
Matthew Ritenburg - Synth, Programming, Vox, ARP 2600

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band. I picked up the CD thanks to it's font and color scheme on the front. The fact that it was a radio station's cd also peeked my interest (WHHS is the oldest High School Radio Station, over in Haverford, right outside of Philly). The artwork is very "nerdy" consisting of computer fonts, and science and technology ideas written inside, so that, along with the lack of band members leads me to believe it is a guy (Matthew Lawrence most likely) and his synthesizer/computer program making short songs and a couple longer ones.

Album Review: The band name translates to The Beautiful Sunrise. Label name, Matthew Ritenburg is, in fact, the main/only creative force behind this 22 minute album. 

“Carbonite” begins with a few electro pulses that fade in and drift away. They are dark, and foreboding. A light drum beat is added in the background, and faint, strained vocals, reminding me of Hail Social start about halfway through the track. It is very minimal, and other than a few other swirls, the Doppler Effect sound of a truck passing, and echoing riffs, the song ends.
“Juice Party Fun” continues with the dark vibe, with more echoing, stretched single guitar notes. Heavier guitars are overlaid, and a digital jumbled voice spews moog-like mechanical nonsense. The guitar that follows has a slight echo, like something from a house dance track. But the ultimate feel is dark, disjointed prog, math rock. Sort of like Fantomas.
“Skybird” begins with a steadier southern bluesy stomp, and wobbly vocals like a minimal Doors cover. Soaring effects, and more echoing vocal effects create a psychedelic soundscape, reminding me more of Ween, thanks to the thick, electric guitar.
“Serotonin Guests” vibrates and jitters with wobbley synth notes, and watery space ghost sounds. Everything sounds like it is either revolving endlessly, or winding down. The song ends with the electronic moog-computer vocals

“Time Can Ghost” starts with simple tones, like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The vocals are light, and second handedly added underneath. The notes, now coming from a guitar, are layered to make an early morning, hopeful, sun rise song. The digital tones are added back in, as if a breakdown from the positivity is necessary.
“Time, Electricity, Sincerity” starts with a bunch of chaotic sounds at the same second, trying to find their footing. There is squeaky feed back, telephone line hum, and a jam-style guitar.
“Remember That Letter” starts the exact same way as Carbonite, but this song is 4x as long. Once we pass the minute market, the vocals repeat, and the song slowly slinks along, taking pauses to reboot with a little more dark wave danciness…but only for a handful of seconds. The vocals come back for a third time, but with the dancy kick drum beat. Then the song decides to throw in a slowed up sludgy guitar focused breakdown. This slowly plays itself out until the fade away at the end.
“Thursday Years” tries to find its tempo in the beginning, with a stunted drum beat and echoing, vibrating chords strummed. The jazzy bass line is barely present, but adds a little depth. Wobbling trembling sounds like a spaceship taking off are thrown in the background at varying times. The song has a similar vibe as Time Can Ghost

Stand-Out Track: Juice Party Fun

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