This LP of the Month is a little different than normal. This is kind of a curve ball and it’s definitely not a record that everyone is going to like, but I like to challenge listeners every once in a while as I like to be challenged when it comes to new records. It’s refreshing to hear something so totally different from everything else. So, go sample some tracks online (like here) before committing to the purchase, but I guarantee this is a record that will end up on your turntable a lot more than you expect after the first listen.
Dirty Beaches is the work of one man, Alex Zhang Hungtai. Some of you may have seen him at the Cats Purring Dude Ranch a few years back when he was touring behind his excellent debut album, “Badlands.” That show was great. “Badlands” was kind of a psychedelic, droning, rockabilly record. “Drifters/Love is the Devil,” isn’t a complete departure from the style of “Badlands,” but it still takes some crazy turns toward more ambient, experimental music. Lots of records come to mind when I first listened to “Drifters”–William Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops,” Miles Davis’ “In a Silent Way,” maybe some weird Howlin’ Wolf recordings–but at the same time I couldn’t really describe it at all. It’s something to be heard, and to digest. As I’ve said before, this is one of the most interesting records I’ve heard in a while. Hopefully Alex will come play in Oxford again, because I’d love to see him. –DS
More reviews of “Drifters/Love is the Devil”:
–Pitchfork (Best New Music; 8.4 rating)
and check out Dirty Beaches website here.