Dr C./5 Year Eve EP

  • Alias &Tarsier
  • Anticon
  • 2006-04-03

After an effective collaboration with his brother Ehren on Lillian, Alias releases this 12” taster of work from the soon-to-be-released album of his newest collaborative work — this time with vocalist Tarsier (of Heelamonster and Tarsier fame). Concurrently with his native Anticon label, Alias moves further away from hip-hop on this release, the result being a relaxed slice of electronica/lo-fi dance recalling Lamb or Bjork, or his work with the Notwist’s Markus Archer.

Tarsier has a strong kind of ethereal vocal which lends itself perfectly to the glitchy, swelling atmospherics of both tracks and Alias offers some interesting beats, constantly twisting and clipping and never grounding themselves too heavily. “Dr.C” offers a catchy vocal-melody and guitar work from Telephone Jim Jesus but there’s something lacking. It just doesn’t do anything too interesting. It’s almost too harmless and relaxing and upbeat, which will work fine for a background mood and playing in certain situations but it doesn’t seem strong enough to demand full attention.

“Dr.C” offers a catchy vocal-melody and guitar work from Telephone Jim Jesus but there’s something lacking.

Strangely enough even though Tarsier’s vocals are quite effective, the song almost works better as an instrumental (also included on the record) suggesting that the vocals just turn the song tamer. A remix of “Dr.C” from Tarsier’s usual partners Heelamonster offers an interesting, explorative version, which rivals the instrumental as the better version of the track.

Similarly with B-side lead “5 Year Eve”, the vocal-less version is a winner, although this track is darker, and generally offers more strength than its A-side companion. The addition of propminent Cello, played by Tarsier’s friend Kirsten McCord (from Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label) helps add to the mood, a similarly floating and atmosperic one as with “Dr.C” but more effective and offering more hook in, or perhaps just something more interesting and less of a tame wash of sound. Both Alias and Tarsier’s work here is solid but compared to their previous releases its just a little dissappointing. Here’s hoping that upcoming full-length Brooklyn/Oakland, from which work here is taken, offers a bit more.

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