Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tyondai Braxton- Central Market (2009)

I don't know how it took me so long to grab this one by Battles' former front man Tyondai Braxton considering that Mirrored is one of my favorite albums of all time. On Central Market, Braxton utilizes the same palette of sounds we heard on Mirrored: piercing whistles, grinding gear noises, loud yelps. But Central Market is definitely more of an orchestral album. Swooping violins weave in and out of the absolute chaos of frantic drum loops, thunderous brass and other indistinguishable noises. The album's standout "Platinum Rows" has this heavy-as-fuck electronic breakdown thing that keeps recurring throughout the song's ten and a half minutes. In-between these meticulously timed blasts of vocals and noise, trumpets, violins and xylophones schizophrenically dance the line between familiar melody, symphonic beauty and absolute tonal anarchy.

"Platinum Rows" serves as a sort of dividing line for the album. It features the zany, bubbly arrangements of the first half of the record, but also the dark, evil sounds that appear more prevalently in the record's second half. "Unfurling" is a droning menace, building suspense and then destroying it with unpredictable firecracker blasts. "J. City" is the most traditional sounding song on the album, pushing Braxton's impressive vocal range to the front over crunching, dissonant guitars. Album closer "Dead Strings" is as horrifying and nerve racking as its title, layering quivering violins over the creeping footsteps of the rhythm track before breaking out into an off-tempo barrage of drill noises.