Portland experimental rockers Menomena have released their new album Mines. It’s absolutely spell-binding. I don’t have much to add over the excellent MusicOMH review of Mines other than this is one of my albums of the year so far.
I’m a big fan of experimentalism within pop aesthetics, rather like Yeasayer’s great album Odd Blood. What Menomena adds is their ability to create a more natural palette of colours to entice our ear buds with.
Somehow their songs are architectural masterpieces despite their unique drafting methods. It’s complicated – using software called Digital Looping Recorder (Deeler) programmed by band memeber Brent Knopf. Menomena‘s drummer Danny Seim‘s explanation of the process will be far better than anything I can muster:
“First, we set the tempo of the click, which is played through a pair of head phones. We then take turns passing a single mic around the room. One of us will hold the mic in front of an instrument, while another one of us will lay down a short improvised riff over the click track. We usually start with the drums. Once the drums begin looping, we throw on some bass, piano, guitar, bells, sax, or whatever other sort of noise maker happens to be in the room. Deeler keeps the process democratic, which is the only way we can operate”.
Mines is one of those rare albums you’ll be able to come back to time and time again and still find treats you haven’t heard before amongst its many milliseconds of aural pleasure.
If you’re really lazy you can listen to one of my highlights from the album, Five Little Rooms here – but I’d suggest you download it in exchange for your email address and take it with you everywhere:
Menomena UK Tour Dates
For those of us in the UK you can see them at the following dates:
- 11/29/10 – London at XOYO
- 12/01/10 – Manchester at Deaf Institute
- 12/02/10 – Glasgow at Arches
- 12/03/10 – Liverpool at Kazimir
- 12/04/10 – Leeds at Brudenell