14 Nov 2012

The Solar System - Haze Of Deep Dawn Clutching For Air - Review


Bandcamp Digital Release / Limited Edition CD

The Solar System is the nom de plume of Chris Oliver, a one man band psych pop juggernaut who has a way with a winning melody which he frequently juxtaposes with experimental tendencies that are always imaginative and occasionally terrifying (in a good way!)
Chris is a prolific individual with a release schedule that makes fellow homerecording champion R. Stevie Moore look like a slouch, and this, his fourth release of the year (!) is the best of them yet I reckon.
Previous albums have shown that there's plenty of range to the Solar System's ambition and as usual there's a bit of everything on show here, from the quirky instrumental Prince-like electro funk of "Let Fun Take Over" to the wobbly prog pop of "Weather Babble" via the trippy psychedelia of "Bis Nigh" and the surprisingly melodic backwards tapes and synth squiggles pop-collage of "Perfect Disguise".
The track that epitomizes the Solar System approach best here though is instrumental "Enjoy It's Wonder" which starts with a devastatingly lovely, delicate arpeggiated xylophone melody, then layers on some tasteful guitar noodling before going nutso with a barrage of heavily phased drums.
This sweet and sour / darkness and light sort of approach is a recurrent theme in Chris' work.
Sure, this idiosyncratic approach isn't for everyone and in all fairness I don't think it's meant to be, but for those with a similarly broad musical scope there is a veritable smorgasbord to be had here.
Definitely one for the punter who would rather listen to "Kid A" then "The Bends".
Stream / Download below :

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