Sunday, 23 November 2008

Fiction, My Empty Phantom, My Education

Austin, Texas has always been receptive to an alternative music scene and has played host in the past to pioneers of experimental rock, Go Roky, go! There currently appears to be a burgeoning wave of ambient post rockers willing to push the envelope of conjuring sound scapes.

Fiction originated, in 2005, as a collaboration between Jeremy Roye (vocals, laptop, effects) and Michael Zawodniak (keys, synths, bass, vocals) The following year, the duo later expanded the line up, with the addition of multi-instrumentalists Matt Latour (drums, flute, bass, vocals) and Henna Chou (cello, keys, bass, vocals) and starting playing live.

Their sound is experimental, with an evident influence of the Radiohead style of pushing the boundaries ethos, particularly in the vocal styles and wobbly head technique of the lead singer. Thrown into the plot are an assortment of strings, synthesizers, multi-part harmonies, electronic beats, live looping/sampling, and flute, all culminating in a satisfying musical page turner. The tempo of the melodies has a slightly twitchy, claustrophobic feel with repeated listens revealing extra layers of sounds, hidden under the nervy, chanty vocals.

The 'You Will Never' E.P was released back in late October 2008. A debut album provisionally titled, American Hologram, is pencilled in for release in early Spring 2009.

I have to give them an 8.23 out of ten! Usually I would shy away from clumsy 'marks out of' reviews but I will make an exception just this once, in order to shoe-in a superfluous librarian in-joke, indulge me please.

Your next chance to catch Fiction live is on the 13th December 2008 @ The Space Cave, 3109 Walnut St, Austin, Texas with D.J Mos Jeficit, Hello Lovers, Many Birthdays, and Little Stolen Moments in support.

They also play Lamberts on 24th January 2009 with My Empty Phantom and My Education, which sounds like a jolly good night out, if it wasn't a three thousand miles trek, I'd be tempted to pop down and catch this triple trippy toe tapping toasty of a show.

My Empty Phantom is basically a one man show from Jesse Beaman, who creates a very pleasing Eno-esque ambient soundscape, chilled but lively enough not be soporific. Have a break from the twenty four hour rush hour of twenty first century living and check out this live version of the hypnotic Field Of Flowers.

My Education have been creating epic sonic post-rock with a twist of Americana since 1999 and have four albums under their belt. It comes as no surprise that they've been involved with two original film soundtracks for Angels Egg and Sunrise, as their music has a definite cinematic quality about it. I can imagine one of their tracks, as the backdrop to a Wim Wenders movie or an indie flick, set in in a Texas trailer park.

The latest album 'Bad Vibrations' was released in June 2008 and this is the video of the title track, which is laconically lovely but a little bit eerie as well.

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