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Before Before digital video cameras ruled the vacation landscape, analog Super 8 film cameras were king, and they documented the adventures of most American families during the 1970s. A generation later, reels of old sound Super 8 home movies re-emerge as the aural scenery to Random Portraits of the Home Movie, the stunning and infectious solo debut from Sushirobo
guitarist Dave Einmo
Sampling sounds from Super 8 movies his parents shot in the late 70s, Einmo gorgeously honors the past within the recalculated framework of the present, seamlessly tying epic pop overtones to sunny bliptronic beat patterns while cinematically animating moments from his own family's Super 8 films, which serve as the album's inspiration and narrative.
Produced and mixed by Brian Deck
, Red Red Meat
, Iron And Wine
, Secret Machines
) at Chicago's Engine Studios, Random Portraits draws from Einmo's fascination with the subtractive arrangements of trip hop and krautrock, but is executed using a far brighter, more organic palette of mellotron, koto, cello, guitar, and an arsenal of old, analog effects.Think Four Tet, Notwist, Mouse on Mars, and The Dismemberment Plan hosting a party in Manchester during The Factory heyday. With the help of drummers Darius Minwalla (The Posies
, Preston School of Industry
) and David Weeks (Kinski
, The Cops
), Asya (Smoosh
) Sushirobo bandmate Clay Martin, vocalists Graig Markel and Barbara Trentalage (Crooked Fingers
), and other players from Einmo's vibrant native Seattle music scene, the album is as rich in diversity as it is in concept.
"I wanted to take the random ambience you hear outside and record it into my songs," explains Einmo, who takes note when organic street sounds bleed into his headphone music when he's walking down the street. His observations on the relationship between musique concrete and found sounds plays heavily into the mix on Random Portraits, where songs' pacings mirror the quick, snapshot-like cuts of his family movies. "In the 70s," he notes, "people had to be selective in what they shot on film because each reel was only three minutes. There would be all these quick snippets of daily life spliced together in a three-minute reel. I wanted to capture that feel with musical snapshots of life." Running the film samples through guitar effects and analog gadgets to create synth-like sounds, Einmo succeeded in crafting gorgeously twisted manipulations of natural moments from his childhood. "I'd be watching film clips of my family, and at the same time I'd lay down tracks of whacked out keyboards wired into a collection of old, analog guitar effects."
Live, Head Like a Kite is a full sensory experience, complete with live-mixed film projections of the Super 8s used in the creation of the album. Look for the band as they tour extensively in support of Random Portraits of the Home Movie throughout 2006.
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