Is it just me or are a lot of our reviews particularly introspective as of late? Mostly prompted by ambient and electronic sounds and perhaps the fluctuations of one’s mood that comes with the changing seasons, we do seem to be under a spell of contemplativeness. Helping me to continue this trend of reviewing seemingly soul-searching music is former member of the now defunct band Apollo Ghosts, Adrian Teacher.
Going under the name Arbutus, Teacher’s Bedroom Safari is filled with brief ambient and all-instrumental moments that create melancholic soundscapes. In all, Bedroom Safari, which has to be one of the best named records of the year, is a mentally simulating adventure.
Mixing lo-fi drum beats, the occasional echoing guitar riff, and varying keyboard effects to add a bit more texture to the whole thing, Teacher does well to produce the sounds needed to accompany deep contemplation or relaxation. As the longest of the nine song outing, both “Canadian Synesthesia” and “Breccia” are the strongest examples of songs that can be added to your musing soundtrack. Rooted by a heavy electronic beat, “Canadian Synesthesia” doesn’t stray far from this one beat while “Breccia” is slower, allowing for some dreamy guitar work and an overload of electronic noises to take control.
The title and opening track, cleverly highlights Teacher’s “safari” with the interwoven synth noises sounding like an array of animal noises and in turn, creating a canopy of intriguing animalistic sounds. In another highlight, Post Antiobiotic Age [note: I’m not sure if this is typo as found on Bandcamp and the word should read “antibiotic.”] feels the lightest. With it’s bright guitar work throughout, it invokes the feeling that in this age, things are much more clearer.
Alone, the juxtaposition of the penultimate track, “Black Strawberries” creates an uncertainness but thanks to song’s backing loop of an array of voices and the trance inducing lull of the picked acoustic guitar, things get a whole lot creepier. In the final song, “Free Radicals,” the swell of the synthesized choir sounding vocals is equally entrancing yet rather than creating a haunting effect, there’s something alleviating about being submerged in such a sound.
Lie back and take it all in.
Top Tracks: “Bedroom Safari,” “Post Antibiotic Age”
Rating: Strong Hoot (G00d)