Angel 1 Allegra Bin 1

[1080p; 2014]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: vaporous R&B
Others: 1080p

Allegra Bin 1 begins with a couple of kicks, a few intergalactic sounds, and then a voice saying something. It’s both vaporous and wholesome, especially since it persists and collapses into itself, arriving on a perfectly flat spit of sand level with the water. It begins with fragmented, visionary stuff: meaningless syllables that have a music of their own.

Listening in is listening to another time, a kind of Ocarina Of Time. Allegra Bin 1 and its seven tracks point and twirl like a weathervane, rusty and fragmented, but still kept in time by a grid. Its song titles are technological and suggest a virtual world full of garbage heaps of language. The sounds Angel 1 works span from star-like flickers to earthy R&B tones; they possess a range that allows for as many different modes of perception as possible. It’s emotional, conceptual, analytical, and metaphysical, without straining on one mode more than another. But it’s as if it’s also trying to avoid ideas and get to the thing itself: this whole digital thing.

The difficulty with that is that it simulates so many places, especially Los Angeles. “Docu,” for instance, begins as if in a dance room, almost naked, surrounded by mirrors. Some bass tones jiggle here and there: balletic legs striking the humid air, in step. It finishes the maze where it started and makes way for “Shrubb,” a tune that merges space odyssey with streetwear finesse. In general, this merging is what Angel 1 excels at; if Nike designed astronaut uniforms, this album is what the astronauts would listen to in outer space, because of its athletic (and hyperreal) use of splicing samples and its openness to letting sounds move in and out, breezily, treating them as if they were stores in a mall or rooms in a hospital.

“2008,” the last song, reminds me of Susumu Yokota’s work; its got a Japanese flourish to it, as if there’s too much sunlight or too much negative space expanding out and getting chunky, with all sorts of colorful particles. We’re left off in a pavilion or on one of those little side streets in Tokyo, hungry, wanting ramen or izakaya, but not knowing the language enough to ask for it. The wind is not dying, it’s singing, as now is but the setting out on a new but still undefined way.

Links: Angel 1 - 1080p

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