Operacycle Warmer

[Hush; 2000]

Styles: experimental, instrumental, psychedelic, post-rock
Others: Gastr del Sol, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Tortoise


For a record that took two years to compose, a striking consistency unites Operacycle’s Warmer, helped largely by the percussive tendencies of the sole member, Jordan Hudson (who went on to drum with The Thermals).  This thematic unity allows the multifarious layers of deep guitar grooves, hip-hop beats, classical strings and autumnal organs to creep out from the woods and into the unsuspecting towns, breathing on the soft neck of modernity with sinister intent.   The crepuscular rhythms provide a stage for an anachronistic dove act of sinister drawls and dreamy segues which employ gnashed out guitar licks alongside wispy, discovery channel pan flutes.  This dichotomy agitates the spinal column, sending mutations to the mind as Hudson’s designs unfold. This type of composition might sound derivative, but Operacycle seamlessly combines elements both modern and arcane, relying on a natural evolution of sound that abhors the cheap frankensteinery of some lap-pop musicians after a similar sound.  Perhaps over-anxious for analog credentials, the CD insert lists two dozen odds and ends used in recording the record, including a tire iron and door hinges.  Listen hard, you might pick them out.

While Hudson excels at atmospheres, the formulaic compositions often play on one bar too long, especially in the case of the slower jams.  Many of the cohesive elements of Warmer border on soundtrack quality as deadpan riffs stretch into deserts of weak groove.  The deliberately esoteric song titles do more to confuse than to charm, and add no reasonable context to the tracks.  It’s refreshing, however, to hear experimental music that doesn’t rely on distortion or minimalism to test the boundaries of song, but rather approaches the fledgling science with a foot in the classics.  Operacycle’s deep grooves will have you smashing your copy of Fragile within hours.

1. Western
2. How to Walk Classically
3. Malahat
4. Funerals
5. There's a Grassmower at My Door
6. This Is Part
7. Gone I'll Tomorrow Be
8. Platform
9. The Carter Break
10. Four Noble Truthes
11. Two of Two
12. SHS
13. Fever

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