The Calm – 1969 Before the Dawn

Lastrum LACD-0040
2001.11.20

Last time Jon returned from japan, he came back with some very strange CDs by groups I had never heard of, all supposedly coming out of this one record shop/label in Tokyo.
I’ve heard them in passing and very pleasant they are in an acoustic ambient way. This time he has returned with two that I can properly listen to. The Calm make this wonderful blend of ambient synths, distant, echoey trumpets, melancholia, and slightly danceable beats.
Track 8 has something approaching a drum’n’bass riff, mixing in Reich repetition, wandering sitar, lonesome shakuhachi.
Imagine if Tortoise hadn’t sprouted from reformed punks, but psychedelic rockers. Imagine if they listened to DJ Shadow, not knowing it was madefrom samples, and tried to recreate it live (though for all I know this is all done in someone’s bedroom on ProTools.) That’s the Calm. They like their sound samples too: the good old moonshot countdown sample, and some French lady saying I-don’t-know-what.

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