Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Creedence Tapes - "Endless Summer"

Currently unreleased
Available for listening at http://www.myspace.com/thecreedencetapes

It seems fitting that this blog's first review will be of one of its own. Fellow Felstein, Pete Cottell, has produced his first widely available song under the moniker of The Creedence Tapes. And despite its semblance of a CCR B-Sides collection, the project has no similarity to classic rock whatsover.

This is IDM. Bedroom-made beats with self-recorded instruments dancing over-top. I have never asked Pete what he does in his bedroom, but I might start. Despite the (I hope tongue-in-cheek) cheesy title, the song is pretty great.

It begins like a song by The Books. An unintelligible vocal sampling paves way for a fanciful set of strings and guitar melody. And that melody is what keeps this song together. With IDM, the beat tries to take the spotlight, but just like all great artists in the genre (see Dntel, Telefon Tel Aviv), the beat is really just a platform for the melody to shine.

Hints of Explosions in the Sky crescendos and Bloc Party space guitar sounds intersperse throughout, leaving "Endless Summer" feeling wistful -- like the feeling most introspective summer moments give. The feeling isn't contrived, though, you can tell Pete's spent plenty of those moments fully aware of how it would sound on tape.

If the song has any drawbacks, it is that the beautiful beginning strings are lost too early. IDM blips and blurps take over, reluctant to relinquish their dominance. Most IDM is like this though: a battle of rhtyhms and melodies -- a yin and yang situation if there ever was one. The beats will always delight, but the IDM songs that are remembered are the ones where the melody continues to hymn long after the song is over. "Endless Summer" teeters on the edge of being able to ingrain such a feeling, and it surely has the melodic firepower to be able to do so.

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