After seeing School of Seven Bells (SVIIB, Wiki) play live, it became apparent to me why Ben Curtis may have been driven to leave the Secret Machines at a seemingly inopportune time. Curtis’ musical ideas clearly wanted to go in a more atmospheric direction, somewhat opposed to the aural pyrotechnics that the Machines tend to explode with; even moreso, I think it’s fairly clear that he wanted to orchestrate more than his singular guitar voice amidst the bombastic din that forms the bread and butter of any great Secret Machines’ song.
Send us an email to auralstates at gmail dot com or comment this post to enter! We’ll draw and email a winner Tuesday night. Sorry folks. Winner has been emailed; congrats to Paul Kelch! Enjoy the show!
Fujiya & Miyagi are a smooth and steady cadenced extension of some strong Can influences. Though they faltered some on their third album (2008′s Lightbulbs) by mostly treading water stylistically, their music still has an undeniable intensity that sucks you in, simultaneously trance-inducing and grounding. Read more about their motivations and music in my interview with David Best from a ways back.
School of Seven Bells is a project formed from the split factions of two established groups (the Secret Machines and On!Air!Library!), but their airy, dream-like melodies seem to transcend and rise above what some view as a tumultuous origin. Instead, their music relays the organic spirit of the relationship between Benjamin Curtis and the Deheza twins that catalyzed the group’s genesis. Where F&M create a subtle and often minimal sound, School of Seven Bells coalesces an enveloping din of fuzzed-out guitars and a cloud of electronics. This instrumental haze is purposeful as Curtis has openly stated the music is a lens to amplify the lyrics. In this fashion, the music serves to set the pace and tone of each song, ultimately enhancing the impact of the strong vocal harmonies.
Hot off the heels of this post on the Secret Machines’ latest plans, we received two tracks from the wayward Curtis sibling’s (Ben) project, School of Seven Bells. Sample, download and judge the merits for yourself.
They open for M83 at the Black Cat this November. Save the date, keep your calendars marked.
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