Since 2010, Amalgamated has had a handful of highly regarded releases on their own Intangible Cat label, ((Cave)) Recordings, and Denmark’s Metaphysical Circuits label. A new full-length heaping of Amalgamated’s electronic / organic meshing of aesthetics takes place over about 55 minutes on the present CD, and is continued in the 20 minute download-only bonus track. This self-titled album collects 9 (counting the 20 minute download-only bonus track) specially selected pieces from the heap of material they recorded between 2004 and 2007. As per their standard procedure thus far, these tracks have been sculpted from their original improvised form into more delicate and intensely textural states. Strongly informed by 80’s industrial / cassette culture artists and creation methods, they mingle the sensibilities of home-tapers with their love for more current electronic artists and technologies. Noisy, dreamy lo-fi psychedelic elements are placed against carefully sculpted hi-fi electronics. The memebers of the group have worked on other projects; Gushing Cloud (Cory Bengtsen), Homogenized Terrestrials (Phillip Klampe), Headless Ballerinas Underwater (Bob Newell), Dog Hallucination (D. Petri), & Rebekahs’ Tape (Cory Bengtsen & Mike Richards). Traces of these projects are evident in Amalgamated’s work throughout the album. This recording is a further selection of standout segments in the group’s improvisation oeuvre, and represents a near-purging of their 2004-2007 back-stash, setting them free to unleash materials from their recent (2013 & ongoingly periodic) cache of recordings.
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AMALGAMATED (CD by Aubjects)
“Music by the collective Amalgamated has been received well here (see Vital Weekly 842, 857, 881 and 896). So far those were 3″CDRs and cassettes but now they move to doing a real CD. The members are still Cory Bengtsen (Rebekah’s Tape on sampler, keyboards, saxophone, turntable), Bob Newell (of Headless Ballerinas Underwater on sampler, keyboards, percussion, drum machine), Mike Richards (also of Rebekah’s Tape, but also the man behind Makeshift Music and Intangible Cat on guitars, effects drums, percussion, keyboards and tapes), Phil Klampe (of Homogenized Terrestrials on keyboards and sampler) and D. Petri for editing and mixing. Oddly enough it seems this band is no more, as all of these releases were recorded ages ago. Here we have pieces from 2004 to 2007, recorded on 4-track cassette and 16-track digital. There are no few words that can describe what this band does. It’s a bit of everything: techno, ambient house, space rock, krautrock, post rock, jazz, psychedelic, film music and a bit of studio wizzardy. The other day I was playing some old Dif Juz record and still liking that: the post rock like sound, but with some fine grooves, weird sounds and lots of (head-) space. This new release seems less based in the musique concrete techniques but more (even more!) coherent than some of the previous releases. Less exciting? No, just a different kind of excitement. There is a download bonus piece, which is a twenty-minute montage of moods and textures, and which brings out their more experimental side. This makes all this together a very strong album, close to seventy-minutes of pure listening fun. I am still very much in the ‘dark’ as to what this is all about, the history of this band, the recordings that are released, but I must say I still very much enjoy what they are doing. It’s good to make the leap forward and release a CD. Hopefully more to come? (FdW)”
RAISED BY GYPSIES:
“Looping electronic beats combine with record scratching and yet this is the sound of a full band as well. I don’t believe there is an equal to this, as if there is anyone else attempting this style of music specifically it is not nearly as good, but it does have that sound of Rush mixed with “block rockin’ beats” and the obvious choice here of Folk Implosion.
Computers seem to play a pretty heavy hand in this. There is also a background trace of Pink Floyd and just when you think it can’t amaze you any further it has the sound of Metallica in space. Yes, the fourth song has an “Enter Sandman” vibe to it although it is not of this world so do with those lyrics what you must.
Through space synth whirrs and the banging on sticks this is a creation of what it would sound like to be able to play an acoustic guitar in outerspace because I’m pretty sure it needs gravity so you’d have to build it a little helmet and oxygen mask. Quick, someone Photoshop me an image of that.”