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Giving Machines

Atlanta’s Japancakes have been active since 1999. For better or worse, they are typically characterized as a post-rock band which seems to be a common occupational hazard for instrumental bands. At their inception, the songwriting consisted primarily of mellifluous lap steel guitar over a repetitive, borderline Krautrock rhythmic foundation. The songs tended to be lengthy with few detours from the fundamental melody. Belmondo was a real turning point for the band. Particularly, the song, “Theme for a Film”, a baroque chamber piece featuring the lap steel and cello in counterpoint, suggested that they were beginning to sharpen their compositional skill. This is not to slight their early discography, which is quite beautiful, it just does not have the depth of their recent recordings.

Giving Machines is another step forward for the band. It is comprised of eight songs that clock in at just less than forty five minutes. All of the material is original with the exception of a Cocteau Twins cover, “Heaven or Las Vegas.” There really isn’t a weak song in the bunch. The melodies get stuck in your head with repeated spins.

On a peripheral note, Japancakes has also released Loveless, which is certain to polarize their listeners. Yes it is, in fact, a song by song recreation of the My Bloody Valentine classic. If you hold the original dear, you will likely despise the Japancakes recreation. If you don’t feel that strongly about the original recording, you are likely to enjoy it as well.

-— Jesse Srogoncik, February 6th, 2008

Japancakes — If I Could See Dallas (Kindercore, 1999; Darla 2007)
Japancakes — Down The Elements (Kindercore, 2000; Darla 2007)
Japancakes — The Sleepy Strange (Kindercore, 2000; Darla 2007)
Japancakes — Bliss Out v.19: Belmondo (Darla, 2002)
Japancakes — Waking Hours (Warm Electronic Recordings, 2004)
Japancakes — Giving Machines (Darla, 2007)
Japancakes — Loveless (Darla, 2007)


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Thursday, August 21, 2014 All Contents Copyright © 2014 Stinkweeds Music