Dan Snaith’s first album, Start Breaking My Heart (2000), is usually categorized as folktronica or intelligent dance music (IDM), in the vein of Boards of Canada and Four Tet. Samples are precisely calibrated and meticulously arranged in exact sequences. It is an appropriate sound given Snaith’s academic background: a B.Sc. from Toronto and a Ph.D. from Imperial College, both in mathematics; his father and sister are also mathematicians. In contrast, his sophomore album, Up in Flames (2003), is a messy, vibrant, wall-of-sound that wears its bliss on its sleeve and smacks of instant gratification. It is shocking to discover that both albums were similarly composed on a computer; Snaith cooks up a delightful smorgasbord of echoing vocals, punishing drums, animal sounds, organ blasts, and strummed guitar. Serving suggestion: enjoy with headphones on a sunny, carefree day. Continue reading
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When the schedule for New Music Mondays, a free concert series at Millennium Park, was released a couple of months ago, I made a note to see Caribou in the second week of July. Due to the clutter of things to-do that have occupied my mind as of late (hence, the once-a-month blog posts), the concert nearly slipped my mind. Although I had other nagging tasks, I looked over to Cloud Gate during the trip north on the 6 bus to a temporary home, and impulsively jumped off the bus.