The world’s favorite archipelago nuclear meltdown incited a good deal of immediate response. As an undergrad, I remember being asked if I would contribute to a New York-themed coloring book that could be distributed to “Japanese children who have been affected.” The WeAreTheWorksInProgress compilation album, curated and contributed to by Blonde Redhead, feels a bit like that coloring book has been drawn in and sent back, with all of the due “fuck you” Sharpie’d in.
The particularly freezing, slow ambiance on display here will heighten your synesthesia, without a doubt. The tones bleed together like oils on an expressionist palette, and you see them moving towards an abstract canvas to create a vivid image of raw, if subdued, emotion. Curated with expertise, the fade is perfect. Though each musician brings something special to the fore, you may forget you are listening to a compilation rather than a contemporary orchestra comprised of the biggest talents in music production.
“No Face” by Karin Dreijer Andersson (of the Knife, Fever Ray), the second track, assured me that I was listening to something that the musicians felt passionate about. She draws deep in her senses, abandoning all shriekiness associated with her pop sound, to deliver a beautifully-arched song made of a mix of human and digital sounds. Indeed, a work in progress, I hope that this experimenting proves pivotal for her. Though I am less familiar with Broadcast’s library, their “In Here The World Begins” ironically lays as the perfect midpoint in the valley this album draws you into. Moody without the angst, my only criticism of the album would be the inclusion of Interpol, who unsurprisingly did not bring anything surprising to the table. Included as the last track, it might be better noted as a bonus than as something that should be heard in relation to the rest of the album, which otherwise has a rock-solid coherence.
Read more and buy. Proceeds benefit Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund & Architecture for Humanity.
Full Track Listing:
1. Moma – Four Tet
2. No Face – Karin Dreijer Andersson
3. G Song – Terry Riley
4. Nightcrawler – Nosaj Thing
5. Berceuse – John Roberts
6. Penny Sparkle – Blonde Redhead
7. Bird On A Wire – Pantha Du Prince
8. In Here The World Begins – Broadcast
9. Drip – Liars/Blonde Redhead
10. Curve – Deerhunter
11. Stalagmite – Stalactite
12. Castles In The Grave – John Maus
13. Bamboo House – David Sylvain/Ryuichi Sakamoto
14. Song Seven – Interpol
Listen To “No Face” by Karin Dreijer Andersson: