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Articles and thoughts by Peter Holslin

White Rainbow, “New Clouds” (Kranky; 2009)

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White Rainbow
New Clouds
(Kranky)
*8.9*
Goes well with: Atlas Sound, Animal Collective, Lucky Dragons

The loop processor is arguably one of the most promising pieces of music technology to have emerged in the ’00s. And New Clouds, the second full-length by Portland-based multi-instrumentalist Adam Forkner, is one of the most inspirational loop-based albums of the decade, taking the device to an unheard dimension both technically and figuratively.

New Clouds is composed of four long tracks, most stretching past 16 minutes, and listening all the way through in one sitting can be a transcendent experience. It’s intense enough to experience the blissfully distorted tendrils of guitar and echoing vocals of opener “Tuesday Rollers and Strollers” (an awe-inspiring piece reminiscent of both Yes’ prog-rock and Basic Channel’s minimal techno) without wading through the electronic miasma that is “Major Spillage,” the glimmering groove of “All the Boogies in the World” and the melodious guitars and squirming synths in “Monday Boogies Forward Forever.”

But all of the album’s curlicues, swirls and echoes aren’t so much challenging as they are pleasant—even without the aid of mind-altering drugs, although those might help.

This review was published this week in San Diego CityBeat.

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