Flatland Sound Studio :: Maximum Vacation Plus (Bedroom Research)

It could almost be the soundtrack to a cold medicine overdose or the after effect of watching too many foreign language cartoons while recovering from dental surgery and extremely strong coffee.

Flatland Sound Studio :: Maximum Vacation Plus (Bedroom Research)

Vancouver based sound designer and producer Flatland Sound Studio, aka Max Greening, drops Maximum Vacation Plus, an impressive debut album full of ingredients including but not limited to: colorful melodies, top notch sound design, vintage samples, field recorded textures, hard glitch and more.

It could almost be the soundtrack to a cold medicine overdose or the after effect of watching too many foreign language cartoons while recovering from dental surgery and extremely strong coffee. Beats burble and squirt around your headspace while tiny incidental scratches and scrapes come and go. Cut-up samples and vocals provide a sort of narrative but only until the next one comes along and throws your frame of reference out into the trash.

The drums in “Fanfare” sound not unlike those of a Funkstorung track. But the flute-like lead is reminiscent of late period Japan (the band not the nation). Elements of chiptune interjected along with quick cut glitch bits make it a strong opener.

“Colour Beat” hits hard with fast drums and lo-bit stabs before a chorus of demented children’s voices roll in with a chant you’ll be repeating in your dreams.

“Windy Day” uses samples from what could be a school film about meteorology as the lyrical focus over fast-panned drums and simple melody portraying a disorienting day by the sea.

“Trail Mix” sounds like a bizarre hike in the woods with psychedelic animals romping alongside detuned synths, burbling pads, slamming four on the floor drums, bird noises and the occasional human narrator anthropomorphizing of a woodland creature. It stands out as one of my favorite tracks on the album. This and others reminds me a great deal of Tim Cosner’s recent cassette release DEADTECH/MODERNHOMES.

“Sasquatch Beat” lopes into view with heavy, thudding drums and an air of menace straight out of the gate. Monster sounds, pitched low and muffled, promote the sense of something big and hairy watching you from the edge of the forest. Squelchy bleeps and chiptune sounds come across like underbrush the creature tears through as it pursues its prey. Which may or may not be you.

“Special Tea” incorporates fragments of a UFO abductee’s account of their story over slamming beats and wobbling keyboards. A flatulent lead line snakes through it as well like the ugly cousin of the trombone voiced teacher from Charlie Brown cartoons. It sounds like Boards of Canada took too much Aderall and couldn’t quite maintain their usual chill stoner vibe. This is quite similar to the demented UFO abductee funk of JVOX’s phenomenal Strange Universe albums on Component Recordings.

The intergalactic Vicodin trip of “Dogfish Fantasies” is carried by more of the wet-whack drums favored by Flatland Sound Studio. The disembodied blips of a male quartet sound like the short guitar strumming one hears in the slow moving sway of lover’s rock and dub reggae.

The overall vibe of Maximum Vacation Plus runs from sweet childhood nostalgia to humorous hooks to noisy mayhem while invoking musical influences such as Herbert, Matmos, Vibert, Prefuse73, Osymyso, to name a few. Recommended.

Maximum Vacation Plus is available on Bedroom Research.

TAGS: , , , ,

No Comments

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.