Monday, 15 September 2008

Walking Tall: Deerhunter & Atlas Sound

MP3: Deerhunter - Heatherwood / Spring Hall Convert / Strange Lights
MP3: Atlas Sound - Quarantined

Bradford Cox, the mastermind behind Deerhunter & Atlas Sound, is a very striking individual. He's toweringly tall, maybe 6'4", and stick thin; he suffers from Marfan Syndrome, a skeletal and muscular disorder than gives him a stretched, elongated appearance. His eyes move as quickly as his mind, and he talks and thinks accordingly fast. He's clearly steeped in music to an all-encompassing degree - as guest DJ recently in our Brainlove room at Koko he produced 4 iPods from an orange pencil case, and every single song he played was both amazing and something I'd never heard before. He was running on 2 hours sleep in the last 48, but he DJed happily for hours after a packed headline show at Tufnell Park's Dome venue. "I love music so much," he said, "I live for it. I love to DJ any chance I get."


Deerhunter and Atlas Sound could be described as presenting two very different takes on Shoegaze, although Bradford describes Deerhunter as 'ambient punk'. Deerhunter veer between extended atmospheric sprawls of sweet, warm sound and a soupy, embracing kind of rocking out - their new album "Microcastle" is out now digitally and available soon on CD. Atlas Sound present gorgeous, shimmering pop soundscapes, as seen on their album-of-the-year contender "Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Can Not Feel".


Any way you slice it, Bradford Cox is reinterpreting and reinventing one of the richest passages in recent music history. But even better, he's eclipsing the gems of the genre as he goes. Like Sonic Youth's recent purple patch, his prolific output is of a singularly high quality. Bradford Cox seems certain to quickly become a lasting and deserved outsider icon.


I'm interviewing him for TLOBF this week, so I'll link to it from here when it's done.

1 comment:

EMIL SOLLENBY said...

Brad's actually not very tall, 5" 11 - 6" maybe. He passed me at a gig and I was surprised that he was shorter rather than taller than me.