Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rebecca Gates + The Consortium 'The Float'

Here we have Chicago based artist Rebecca Gates + the Consortium’s new album for 12XU entitled ‘The Float’. Some may already be familiar with Gates from fronting Sub Pop indie band The Spinanaes during the 90’s. Gates came into her own in 2001 releasing ‘Ruby Series’ and toured opening for Stereolab alongside a live band comprised of Mikael Joergensen (Wilco), Noel Kupersmith (Brokeback) and Jerry Busher (Fugazi). Although the shows went well she ended up out of pocket, so began exploring other outlets for her creativity. Gates spent the best part of ten years involved in exhibitions merging elements of sound into visual art, her new setting afforded a platform to explore her ideas in new ways but music was never far from anything she did. So it’s no surprise that she’s returned to the studio for a new album, the new songs are unmistakably Gates with a tender folk approach paired with the finesse of 90’s indie.

‘The Float’ has been gradually pieced together since 2004 featuring members of The Jicks, Tortoise and Portland Cello project to name a few. The album incorporates drums, guitars, xylophones, cellos and violins to create eleven evocative tracks tinged with upset. Track “&&&” sounds out Gates’ smokey voice apace with a piano, beats that tread in and out of step and freely wandering guitars plucking out loose melodies and rhythms. This best shows how Gates assembles small components to create one cohesive piece like a musical jigsaw. The highlight for me on ‘The Float’ is “Slowed Lowed Lowered”, with blinking eventide keys anchored by a drifting abrasive guitar alongside Gates ethereal whispers. “The Float” is quite simply a beautiful album and worth your time, another great release on the 12XU imprint.

You can find copies here

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