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Reviewed this week: Six Organs of Admittance, Katie Sachs, and Harouki Zombi

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Six Organs of Admittance
Ascent
(Drag City)

Often dubbed a member of the “new folk” genre, guitarist Ben Chasny indulges a full-fledged electronic experiment on his latest release. Recorded with backing group Comets on Fire, the album is the product of a complete band. Opening with the wordless “Waswasa,” the disc features plenty of wild guitar noodling, and the rhythmic underpinning on some tracks wouldn’t be out of place on old classic rock records. Vocals, when they surface, often focus on simple platitudes, and can sound like mystic chants coming from a distant mountain. “They Called You Near” evolves from a sparse track with a rumbling foundation to an acoustic charge including spider-like runs up the fret board that seem to be inspired by Indian music. While only a handful of cuts go beyond the six-minute mark, “One Thousand Birds” is the best of the bunch. Psychedelic flourish and all, it goes down easy.—Michael Cimaomo

*

Katie Sachs
Places Not On Maps EP
(independent)

*

Harouki Zombi
Objet Petit A EP
(Polyvinyl)

Talk about truth in advertising—Harouki Zombi sounds like a combo of high-tech futurism and disaffected undead cool. Mix in a dose of French chic and wispy, bilingual female lead vocals, and you get a weirdly appealing record that sounds like club music from 2050. If this is our future, however, we should be prepared for the uncomfortable juxtaposition of frothy, hopelessly optimistic pop with that same undead cool. Which makes this, perhaps, an ultimate realization of the electronic, semi-robotic pop of ’80s New Wave. Harouki Zombi combines the talents of Nina Barnes (Of Montreal) and Orenda Fink (Azure Ray). The standout is a remix of the title track, which wallows beautifully in the original song’s turgid sounds, complementing the whole with cut-up vocals that sound like speaking in tongues. —James Heflin

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