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Panda Bear/Excepter
Paw Tracks, 2007

This split 12" finds Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox of Animal Collective) sneak-peaking a medley of tunes from his forthcoming solo LP, Person Pitch, and Excepter mashing up some live recordings in a five track suite. It's no surprise that the three movements of Panda Bear's "Carrots" sound nothing like any previous Animal Collective or Panda Bear release. The first plays like a brief survey of world music, putting all the emphasis on rhythm and drone. Building off a one bar tabla loop, Panda Bear obscures the words of his melody with blankets of delay of reverb and answers it with quasi-African choruses of a thousand Panda Bears. The effect is other worldly. The second two movements also rely on droney loops but with a much more familiar style of composition (if Brian Wilson had gone to India with the Beatles instead of Mike Love, it might have sounded like this). "KKKKK" offers a balanced, netherworldly flipside of mid tempo thumps and white noises. Excepter puts forth their own take on industrial with radio static and computer blips rather than factory noise. One of their greatest tricks is to reduce a voice to its tonal element, and the moans haunt the stuttering beats throughout. Quite a feat for a noise band to hold its own against such pop mastery.

By Wes Kaplan.
February 9, 2007

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