reviewed by Michael Thomas
Who the hell is Lunar Lemur? Not even Scott Gray, founder of the new Trinket Trance music/comics collective which is releasing this album, knows. Allegedly Gray met a man in a lemur suit in Toronto’s Dufferin Grove Park, poring over a laptop and working on music. Several strange emails later, Lunar Lemur’s first album is here. Gray still doesn’t know much about the Lemur, but Gray’s fondness for strangeness has picked up an album that might have never surfaced otherwise.
If this intro to the Lemur is wordy, so be it—the strangeness of Lunar Lemur is good context for how strange The Indiscrete Art of Ass Puppetry is. It’s a vast, electronic experimental soundscape, but one that’s tinged with menace. It’s human nature to fear the unknown, so the Lemur’s facelessness already gets the menace meter off to a good start. Then there’s the off-kilter song titles like “Ouroboros After a Bad Taco” and “Cloud Toenails.” And let’s not forget the horrific 30 seconds of “No.”
But where the Lemur’s soundscapes can be scary, they can also be quite beautiful. While many songs are fast-paced mixtures of synth and aggressive percussion, when the Lemur slows down things get even more interesting, like in “Pan Handler (A Touch of Mythical Mutton).” There’s the downright terror of “Agile Clam,” a slow, gloomy piano number that seems to be a soundtrack for a slow-motion chase. The capper “Zen Quaff” is a crystalline song that tucks the album in for the night. “Dog Mode” actively switches between sombre and batshit insane.
Speaking of insanity, there’s plenty of that to go around. Naturally, a song with the title “Pee Burst” is one of the best, an energy that hammers in stuttering synths with the energy of a punk-rock song. Another highlight is “Jilted Parabola,” which starts a percussion-heavy number before turning into a galaxy of synths by the end.
The album’s 18 tracks are a lot to take in, but chances are it’ll soundtrack your day, no matter how calm or crazy it has become. Oh yeah, and Lunar Lemur is releasing another album next month, so don’t expect to ever run out of insane experimental music to listen to.
Top Tracks: “Jilted Parabola”; “Pee Burst”; “Janked By a Walrus”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)