Arthur Nasson

Life After Telescopes

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Since the early 2000s, Boston-based songwriter Arthur Nasson has slowly and quietly created a name for himself by releasing lush, orchestrated pop albums on which he plays all the instruments himself, for his own Philistine Records label. This 2009 release reveals further tricks up the artist's sleeve, as it explores classic electronic music and other experimentations, some serious, some lighthearted. The album opens with the frantic "Tempting Icicles from the Trees," featuring a vintage-sounding synth algorithm that is simultaneously icily pretty and hectoring; the effect, over seven minutes, is hypnotic. (A variation of the song closes the album.) "Embraceable Moose" is a fun solo piece for Etherwave Theremin that, unsurprisingly, buzzes and moans like the mating call of a lovesick be-antlered land mammal. The stately, grey "Overcast Buildings" captures the deep groaning of outer space, and in fact recalls some of the NASA-commissioned music of electronic composer Jonn Serrie. The rest of the tracks follow from there, consisting of various permutations of found sounds and Moog japery that either employ Philip Glass-like repetition or expressive minimalism. For those new to the songwriter's work, this is not the place to start, but for die-hard fans and completists, or for ambient music enthusiasts, this simple (but not necessarily soothing) electronica may suit your needs.

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