12k make the transition from minimalism to what I’m told is Post-rock in one deft movement, by releasing this neat 7 tracker from antipodean experimentalists, Amplifier Machine. This is a tricky release to assess, as I’m not totally familiar with post rock as a genre, although on first listen, Radian and Praveen instantly spring to mind, as well as fellow Aussies, The Necks. Graced with curiously evocative titles such as Pockets Full of Red Dirt, Poor People In Church, or my personal favourite, Up with the Curtain, Down with Yr Pants, I get the idea that these are perhaps deeply personal reminiscences, textural sketches, or impressionistic scratch pads, maybe even free form improvisational interventions, where the guitar becomes merely a background device upon which the other instrumentation accumulates. Certainly, the instrumentation is fairly conventional, but the delivery, far from it – is THAT what post rock is?
In any case, I like what I hear, despite it being quite markedly different from most other 12k releases, Amplifier Machine essentially deliver the 12k aesthetic and production values. The instrumentation is stripped bare, with muted colours, and the occasional splinter of light, Amplifier Machine keep to a rigid groove, the guitar providing solid, resonant backdrops, tempered with a dusting of sound, strings being grazed, violins and keyboards being noodled with – minimalism taken to a new level perhaps, or certainly a new syntax. Closing track, Memories of the Feeble Minded is a classic, and should a Cormack McCarthy western ever make it to the big screen, then this would be the perfect incidental backing track – mindblowingly great stuff, and congratulations to 12k for yet again breaking new ground. Recommended. BGN