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Posts Tagged ‘Caribou’

What I missed…

Perhaps I am not destined to catch Caribou perform live.  Ive missed him twice in two years although the first time wasn’t really my fault perse.  When he came during the “Andorra” tour, I wasn’t familiar with his music. I remember going to the “Black Mountain” gig and seeing the poster for the Caribou concert. I didnt think much of it since I didnt even know who he was.  Couple of months later, after having listened  to what I would describe as a perfect discography, I was angry at myself for not having discovered him earlier because I would have definitely attended that first show back when Andorra was released.  Every time I would  watch one his youtube clips online or listen to his music, I would imagine how great it would be to experience his music live. I told myself that I wouldn’t miss him live next time. Flash forward to April 2010 when I was planning my India trip.  I knew I wanted to go to India for at-least two months (May and June) since I was going there after eight long  years ( I ended up staying there for three months ). Unfortunately the Caribou gig took place while I was India.

Now there are several things I missed while I was in India : my mom, my sister, my records,  the excitement of new music leaks etc etc but if there was one thing that I truly regret is missing that Caribou concert. I comfort myself with this clip and a hope that I can catch his show next time.

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1805-the-milk-of-human-kindness1

Caribou is one of those artists where I celebrate his entire discography. A lot of people around the blogsphere would claim that this record is his weakest and while there might be some truth to it, it would be unfortunate to completely reject the album. Caribou suffers from what I call the “awesomeness syndrome”. Let me explain. Caribou’s other two records; 2008’s Polaris prize winning Andorra and 2003’s Up In Flames are so good that a strong album like this one seems weak in comparison. The only problem I think this album suffers from is the sequencing. The last four tracks packs quite a punch  and it might have been better to scatter those four tracks throughout the album. Caribou is a man of many influences and they can be heard throughout the album. The Krautrock-esqe “Brahminy Kite” and “Barnowl” where Caribou indulges in his fondness of rollicking drum buildups  sounds like something Can would have recorded in their heyday. The tracks “Lord Leopard” and “Pelican Narrows” has a hip-hop feel to it but it in background you can still hear that sweet 60’s psychedelic melody that Caribou excels at . “Drumheller” would not feel out of place on a Boards of Canada record.

So do yourself a favor and check this album out

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caribou-andorra

Winner of the prestigious 2008 Polaris Prize and my most played album of 2008.

Heard blind, you’d never know that Andorra is the work of a musician who made some minor waves in the IDM community. While there’s plenty of evidence that contemporary electronics helped realize this music, what hits your ears first is its debt to songs that were written 40 years ago.

Opening track “Melody Day” kicks things off with a brisk beat and flute-festooned melody that the Supremes might not have minded using. The echo-laden vocals on “Sandy” remind me of the Mamas And The Papas. “Desiree’s” vocal froth flirts with the Beach Boys. And if I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Ringo Starr laid down the too-too much beats on “Eli.”

But within a minute and a half “Melody Day” also tips the hat to the fact that this record is the heir to Caribou’s 2005 release The Milk Of Human Kindness, when Dan Snaith (the only reindeer in the studio) piles the tune up against one of his trademarked drum surges. This is, after all, a performer who lets a computer play all the vocal tracks in concert while he and half his band wail away on drum kits. Elsewhere he blurs the timeline by planting some New Order-ish synths amidst the Joe Meek reverb; in a post-file-sharing world, it’s all just music, stuff to dig, hopefully digest and plow back into your own material.

Andorra is nearly as exuberant as Human Kindness, but it’s lighter, with sampled strings and flutes weaving in and out of swirling vocals that are forever mentioning some woman’s name. Despite its music-geek-pleasing period references and psychedelic density, this is ultimately a frothy pop record full of hopeful love songs. – Dusted Magazine

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caribou-up-in-flames

This is one of those albums that consumes you.  It puts you in some sort of a hazy reverie that you never wanna break out of. Caribou (formerly known as Manitoba) aka Dan Snaith decides to take a complete U-turn after releasing the idm-esque “Start Breaking My Heart” in 2001. With Up In Flames, Caribou has gone for that warm pastoral sound that reminds you of your childhood and everything that was so great about it. It is an ode to 60’s psychedelic records with its  sun-kissed harmonies and warm pop melodies  where the tracks seamlessly blend into each other, where the vocals and the instruments are sometimes hard to pick apart since everything is engulfed in a hazy cocoon of awesomeness. Listen to the first two tracks from the album and you will know exactly know what I am talking about. The album has some sort of communal/summer-esqe vibe to it. You ever find yourself in a situation where you are trying to express how you feel about an album or what an album does for you but you can never find the correct words to express those feelings ? Well, I am in that type of situation when it comes to this album. So without rambling any further, I urge you check out this album, you wont be disappointed. I can almost guarantee it.


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