March 16, 2009

Review: Cinemasophia | Fits & Cycles [MP3]

2009, here is your headphones-required record. After what seems like years of preparation, Richmond, VA-based dreampop quintet Cinemasophia returns next month with its third long-player. Fits & Cycles, as its name somewhat suggests, is a feverish collection of mid-tempo rockers appointed with dizzying compositional and production flourishes. To steal a line from Radiohead, Fits & Cycles talks in math, buzzes like a fridge, and is -- on occasion -- like a detuned radio. It is the most sonically sculpted set we've heard this year, and repeated listens reveal greater and greater dimension in the production and recording.

Forthright opener "Detailed Night" cycles through -- we think -- 3/8, 3/4 and 5/4 time while lazery synths dart across the mix, a mix that occasionally makes room for xylophone and big reverbs. A surprising amount of this record is not in traditional rock 4/4, although the proceedings are more fluid than angular despite syncopation that is mortared in like bricks at seemingly every turn. The biggest number on the set is "Failed Drum Circle," a track with traded -- and Unrest-esque -- girl/guy vocals that meanders and percolates for just over two minutes before blossoming into a dense, lush, melodic crescendo that will give you chills. The section only lasts about 30 seconds, but it is perhaps the biggest 30 seconds of the records. A close second is the syncopated rocker "Neutral Burst," which is decidedly non-linear but houses in its midst a throbbing, distorted bridge that underpins an ethereal female vocal section. The tune reminds us very much of the stuff on the bootleg Lilys demos collection Early Demos. The delightful, heavily tremeloed "Pet Enemies" mashes spectral funk and pop meanderings.

Fits & Cycles -- leaks of which we started encountering all around the Internet last week without even looking -- was recorded by Richmond engineering mainstay John Morand at Sound Of Music and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side. Cinemasophia has been soliciting remixes from various corners to be packaged with the digital release of Fits & Cycles, most notably from Lilys mastermind Kurt Heasley, who is apparently currently calling Central Virginia home. Little Black Cloud releases Fits & Cycles April 7 digitally and on CD; according to the label the vinyl release is still a few months off. As we noted in our first post about Cinemasophia here, the band also plans to record tracks for a new single and EP later this year, making 2009 perhaps the band's most productive year of its five-year history.

Cinemasophia -- "Failed Drum Circle" -- Fits & Cycles
[right click and save as]
[pre-order from Little Black Cloud here]

03/26 -- Johnny Brenda’s -- Philadephia, PA
03/27 -- The Czar -- Richmond, VA
03/28 -- The Laundromat -- Charlottesville, VA
04/03 -- Album Release Party @ Sound of Music -- Richmond, VA
04/04 -- MACRoCK -- Harrisonburg, VA
04/28 -- Cameo -- Brooklyn, New York

Cinemosophia: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

1 comment:

Dave G said...

The very limited hand numbered CD version of Fits & Cycles is available now from Little Black Cloud Records.