A spot-on review of File #08 from our friends at Aquarius Records.
“Following the new wave / new romantic bombast of his debut album as Never Knows in 2014, former aQ-starlet Marc Kate returns with a mostly different album for Chris Dixon’s homespun Computer Tapes imprint. Gone are the Numan / Gahan electro-ballad croons, replaced with billowing crescendos of oceanic ambient passages saturated in pink noise and shoegazed distortion. We say that it’s mostly different in that Kate’s penchant for dark hues and washed out melody remain consistent in both sets of recordings. Here we have a well-conceived / well-executed hybrid of vintage synth-drone transcendence and the digital rupturing of these placid surfaces through a soft-focus yet molten churn of dissonance, fuzz, and overdrive. The first couple of tracks rumble from the netherworlds with the impressionistic harmonic phrases lifting off from a bass-heavy underbelly. The central tracks take up brighter tones of unfurling ambient swells that announce a more heavenly diction to Kate’s vocabulary, shifting references from the more industrial slabs of Troum or Tim Hecker toward the celestial electronics of Klaus Schulze or Vangelis; Kate then gracefully turns towards an iced-vein slurry of lugubrious drone and shoegazing noise. Very well done. Only 50 of these were pressed up, so these won’t be around for long.”