With the fusion of guitars and electronics (or more precisely, the incorporation of guitars into electronics) most producers have utilized the six string as a folksy accouterment to their laptop glitches (Greg Davis or Telefon Tel Aviv for example). Others, like Ulrich Schnauss, have flipped the concept, using their computer savvy to create waves of drone similar to the walls of flange once crafted by My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. On his third album, Michael Beckett discovers another novel twist in the combination, crafting distorted barrages of computer and guitar noise similar to the antiguitar struggles of Thurston Moore and Sonic Boom. Driven by a rhythm usually concocted by a determined acoustic strum, these cascades of sound are indiscernible in their guitar/digital genesis. "The Pulse Has Dropped" takes its beat from a place in between Kompakt-style schaffel and old-timey country shuffle while "Hey People" finds a robotic crooner amid a looping stride. "Mount Michigan" could easily be mistaken for a lost Kevin Shields production and "Cough Song" is pure vintage Lou Barlow lo-fi goodness. But regardless of the references, Beckett has, like many of his peers, created an album unafraid to blend his early-'90s influences into a collage of sounds, with a trusty laptop there to play midwife to whatever style of indie rock guitar noise he chooses to give birth to.
by Joshua Glazer