The Lucky Dragons

Dark Falcon

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In the early Aughts, scrapbooking shops began to pop up across the U.S., prompting craft-lovers to remount their loved, old photos and set their future memories down with an endless, cottage industry of ribbons, bows, rubber stamps, and frills. A similar thing was happening with music, as bedroom boys lifted sounds from their childhoods (Boards of Canada, the Books) and glued them together on songs pulled taut with clipped glitches or made easy with rubbery basslines. Lucky Dragons, aka Luke Fishbeck, went beyond the store-bought and prepackaged sounds of nostalgia for his own world of location recordings and snippets of conversation among songs, not unlike the DIY excesses of K Records and friends -- a line between the handmade and the distanced digital. Listeners are set among firecracker pranks on "Heartbreaker," while a woman named Holly sings lines inadvertently stolen from the folk song "Come Rest in This Bosom, My Own Stricken Deer." Shambolic drums, dripped bits of electronics, and her voice, sad like Cat Power but without the self-consciousness, come together for a minute, then wash back like shells in the tide. "New Trees" takes on more songlike attributes -- if but for a moment -- with sine-tone melodies and a dirty, slapped rhythm. Bird calls, banjos and baby talk, baroque sketches on Casio keyboards, fake Satie, and Manhattan Research-style eeriness all appear among the 21 tracks, placed lovingly among sophisticated late-'90s cut-ups and bedroom beats, a successful forging of the personal detritus, the mic-ed moments between moments, into some new music.