Review of Can You Prove I Was Born [12k2033]

Louder than War (.COM)

Shuttle 358 returns with only his fifth LP in 16 years. It’s an analogue electronica / drone record with just about enough mysteriousness, and unashamed repetition and intrigue. The sort of creepy repetition in fact that makes sense by not making sense, thinks Philip Neeson, who has no hesitation in recommending it.

Dan Abrams’ Shuttle 358 project is a rare thing in these days of social media where secrets are hard to keep– with an increasing number of musicians not interested in holding anything back–, in that we don’t know a great deal about it. Abrams seemingly likes to keep a low profile, like Boards of Canada but without the hordes of cultish followers scratching around outside for clues and information.

Shuttle 358 (which is how I’ll refer to the maker of this record here on in) creates space for himself to work any which way he feels, whenever he fancies. With a handful of albums going by– admirably under the radar– since the end of the nineties, Shuttle 358 now finds himself ‘big-upped’ by the people who run the Boards of Canada fan social media accounts, who only this week described the new album ‘Can you prove I was born’ as “a bit boccy!”.I kind of see where this sentiment is coming from…‘Meteor Heart’, with it’s math in color, blurred whimsy twisty-turns, comes over like a BoC filled-out album filler, as does ‘A Ground Without a Figure’, which is pure ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ during that record’s more trippily meditative moments. Meanwhile the multi-layered, fuzzy notion of ‘Prisms’, and the slowcore, woodwind-addled ‘Imaginary Other’, recall similarities to Oneohtrix and Yellow6 in that order. Elsewhere, ‘Burrowed Vows’ goes against the grain a touch, in that it uses rough-around-the-edges humming to get its effect, albeit a strange, near-distant urban mash-up of industry-led sounds– both present and alive as well as stagnated and broke–, and final track ‘Years Later’ is where it gets quite creepy; fatigued, windy analogue synth occasionally giving way to shivery-producing indiscernible child chants, startled bird calls, and a decaying phone dial.

‘CYPIWB’ is about as textured, dreamscape, but in turns creepy, as any of Shuttle 358’s music up to now. Don’t expect much by way of beats or tempo changes here, just about everything is repetitive and static, lofi and analogue, out-there and mysterious. It all kind of makes sense by keeping you guessing. But it’s the real deal, no question.

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