Fog Ditherer

[Lex; 2007]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: experimental rock and roll
Others: Dntel, Phil Elverum, Neutral Milk Hotel, Dosh

Andrew Broder continues reaching beyond the sample-heavy pastiche of his previous efforts as Fog, filling out as a proper three-piece for Ditherer with Mark Erickson and Tim Glenn. However, working with the more conventional tools of the trade doesn't deflate Broder's experimental spirit. Ditherer abounds with melodies that congeal out of a strange brew of percussive bass, propulsive drumming, and the occasional rhythmic synthesizer effect. Broder, with help from artists like Low, Andrew Bird, Why?, and Phil Elverum, seems to take a perverse pleasure in toying with our expectations by using such familiar elements, in much the same way I imagine David Lynch smirks to himself while giving direction to a gaggle of Polish prostitutes doing the Locomotion. Amid the alternately catchy and disarming hooks is the decidedly Lynchian imagery on tracks like "Your Beef is Mine" and "What Gives?" (“Why would you unwind that silk suit/ Back to the worm it spun from?”) And whether he's quietly brooding or unabashedly reaching for Jeff Mangum-y off-key notes, Broder's voice adds an extra source of dynamism to the mix. It all adds up to a sound that revels in rock's limitations while working to redefine them.

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