The Carbuncles – Illusion Of Love (None)

The Carbuncles - Illusion Of Love

The mauve hides a dark secret… can it be known, will it be known? Dare you ask? Dare I reveal? If you insist, I will tell (it is the album art for Illusion Of Love by The Carbuncles)

Artist: The Carbuncles
Title: Illusion Of Love
Label: None
Cat#: None
Keywords: Electronic, Ambient, Dream Pop, Pop, Shoegaze
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Have you ever been wandering and heard a tiny piece of music drift by that sounded and felt like a fragment of cosmic love and beauty, and then just as soon as you’ve heard it, it’s gone… like, a band someplace stopped playing, or someone turned off their radio? Chances are, it was probably The Carbuncles. I can’t legitimize this statement with any empirical evidence, but listening to their music, which I discovered through Vlad Stoian’s Warmer-Climes blog — who I interviewed awhile back! — feels like listening sometimes to a collection of such moments. The very first track, the titular ‘Illusion Of Love’, right away pulls you into this… a Shoegazy wall of lush wonder, enchanting vocals, deep bass guitar cutting through the morass of guitar distortion. This is probably one of the best recent Shoegaze type pieces of music I’ve heard. I like the low electronic bass kick that’s introduced as well, very nice! The music has these moments in which things kind of fade, bringing out the vocals for these really sweet empty places, only to careen back in.

‘Egypt Wore Her Tulle Dress’ is darker, more tangled in a distorted noise. There are string pads, thumping downtempo electronic grooves, really nice melodic guitar overlays. It’s like a moment out, if you can imagine this sounded far away, in an industrial park.

Similarly, ‘A Machine Against The Apparatus’ feels heavy and dark. It sounds like a guitar is being run through a rough analog synthesizer’s ring modulation. The grooves bounce and reflect, the vocals are buried and treated with gritty effects. Shimmering synth drones cascade overhead.

‘Poison Mind (Shambling Necro Mix)’ is distorted and dense. It sounds like there’s a harpsichord in there. It evolves into a complete wall of noise.

I wrote a piece of music once that was based on a melody, perhaps partly imagined, that I’d heard carried on the wind from a highway as cars passed. It seemed to be emanating from the highway itself, the concrete, as wind blew through it.

Such moments, I think, are necessarily fleeting, though. They’re like… audio unicorns. To get too close perhaps would be to taint the perfection of it all. But, curiosity cannot always be kept at bay.

In my late teenage years, while walking into the downtown area of my hometown in the hopes of soliciting cigarettes from drunks, I heard a beautiful melody… a flute, playing in a bizarre chord. It was at once mysterious, melancholy, but also reaching beyond into something like the intangible unity of all. I decided that, all considerations of addiction aside for the moment, it was imperative I find the source of this music. I followed this pied piper to the very heart of downtown, only to discover a crusty hippie from Texas and former Rainbow Tribesman, who I spent several hours chatting with somewhat unwillingly; a wealth of self-rolled cigarettes and mostly creepy stories of his former exploits as a varsity football player living in a party house.

But, still, as audio-lovers and music-obsessed fiends, we must sometimes be the ones who dare to follow the music, wherever it may lead. Sometimes, it’s not so dangerous a journey… like, for instance, when you’re just following a link to someone’s bandcamp…

… which is coming up, I promise, but since it’s haiku weekend here at YIKIS, I felt I should end this review with one of them.

❤ Beautiful music
It feels like eternity
The sound of our hearts ❤

And if you don’t like my poem, well, fuck you. 😛

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