Attention Detroit space rock/ shoegazer fans! One of those crazy techno bastards feels your pain and wants to make the great Spiritualized album Jason Pierce was too busy crying into his burnt spoon and writing overblown gospel-blues show tunes on his last record to make!
Like David Holmes (Bow Down At The Exit Sign/ Ocean’s 11 sound track fame), Dan “Manitoba” Snaith longs to find the ghost in the machine of electronic music. His 2001 debut, Start Breaking My Heart, fit nicely into the post-techno laptop-hop of Boards of Canada, treading the same idyllic blipping and bleeping that endeared him to Autechre fans with a soft spot for cushy stuff and IDM nerds who aren’t afraid to let their hair down. But on Up In Flames, however, Snaith does away with the machine all together. Here he orchestrates shimmering ragas of churning breakbeats and chiming melodies that recall, well, yeah, Spiritualized, but even Their Satanic Majesties Request-era Stones at times with their lush, expansive arrangements. Manitoba’s trying to make what pleasantly and at times brilliantly gives a smiling “fuck you” to electronic music’s stiff upper lip in such a way that even Aphex Twin and the Rephlex label folks will be scrambling to snatch up old Fender Jaguars and delay pedals. But, yeah, Snaith circumvents the comparably chilly conventions of electronic music altogether with Up In Flames. Burn away, Danny boy.
Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.