Big Sir

Und Die Scheibe Andert Sich Immer

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Big Sir, a collaboration between vocalist Lisa Papineau, who has performed with Air and M83, and Juan Alderete, the Mars Volta's bassist, returns after a five-year hiatus with Und die Scheibe Andert Sich Immer, a loose-limbed collection of songs that teeter between atmospheric electronic pop and excursions into more experimental territory. As with Big Sir's self-titled debut, Alderete's big, fluid basslines and Papineau's silky-smoky voice are the elements that hold together all of the different directions they take on this album. And Und die Scheibe Andert Sich Immer covers a lot of musical ground, from the deconstructed trip-hop of "Hammer on Pull Off" to the equally funky and ethereal "Saticoy St.," which veers from dense, wah wah guitar-driven sections to soothing passages that wouldn't sound out of place on a Dido album. Similarly, "Cause That Shit's Just Too Evil (And She's Just a Gangster Bitch)" contrasts Papineau's vocals with free jazz saxophones and atonal electronics. The band also explores a more forceful side on the lumbering rocker "East Side West Side Blue" and "Get Off the B," quiet possibly the album's sexiest track. However, as ambitious and eclectic as these moments and the deeply trippy "I Lie Down" are, the more straightforward songs might be the album's finest. "Saxophone," "Hey, Soldier," and "Blutrausch (Smooth Interlude)" are accessible but far from conventional, offering a slightly calmer version of Und die Scheibe Andert Sich Immer's flights of fancy. Indeed, the poppiness of these songs makes it more than a little surprising that GSL -- a label better known for experimental punk, noise, and hardcore -- released this album, but it's nice to see that with Und die Scheibe Andert Sich Immer, they're branching out into music that's more subtly radical.

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