James Reindeer & Son Lux
In Static (Strange And Gentle Things) (Produced by Son Lux)
Lyrics by James Reindeer
Singing by Son Lux
Wild Street Fire (Produced by Deadly Stare)
‘In Static [strange and gentle things]’ is the A-Side of the single on which Son Lux’s staggering production and soaring vocals meet with the arhythmic lyrical stylings of Reindeer. The two forces combine to create a track that transcends their individual sounds to create something both uplifting and forlorn. The track opens with warped chamber instruments and operatic vocals wrestling a crushing down-tempo drum beat, akin to something from Son Lux’s critically acclaimed debut At War Will Walls and Mazes. Reindeer makes his entrance, the first moments of which secure the brilliance of this artistic marriage. Reindeer characteristically intones a broken and subdued verse that unfolds to paint a lurid and stark scene of a city at night. But suddenly everything falls away to a whisper, Son Lux’s voice breaking the cloudy spell with a mantra-like prayer. What begins from there is an epic post-rock crescendo of layered plucked and bowed strings, bashing drums, and the soaring operatic fragments foreshadowed in the opening. When Reindeer’s voice returns, it is full of force but distant, calling above the crashing wave of sound. It all spills over into a murky haze, with protesting jabs of noise fighting the release. The two vocalists’ whispered final lines disappear into the night, leaving the listener wrestling silence.
‘Wild Street Fire’ on the B-Side sees Bleubird at his acerbic best over some stunning Deadly Stare production, a concoction much akin to his solo album effort One Kind of Dead End, with flavours of his work on the landmark Heliodrome LP of last winter. A salty quip on Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ sparks from Bleubird a biting, hilarious, dark, and apt rant on the cyclical ails of modern western culture. Part projected anger, part self-deprication, Bleubird treads the same perfect line as he’s heard to do on his previous solo records on the mighty Endemik label. Musically somewhere between free jazz and alt-rap abstraction, an ever-shifting thunderous break melds with upright bass by Miles Perkin, pizzicato strings, and a web of cryptic sound smatterings. On repeat listens, even pipe organs and marimbas unravel from the rat’s nest. This post-modern opus is also a relentless banger; a challenging headphone piece and a guaranteed centrepiece sounding from any quality alt-rap club’s PA… to head-banging effect.