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Garrett N.: Let’s Get Surreal

Following on from his Instrumentals And Oddities album, Let’s Get Surreal is the second solo endeavour from Garrett N., who is probably better known for his TV music, although he is also a skilled composer and producer. As you might have surmised from its title, Let’s Get Surreal is no easy listening fare, an electronic base used as a jumping off point into all manner of ideas. From the off, it’s clear that you’ll need to grip on tight to keep up, as spoken word segments from vintage films and interviews (including Michael Caine) compete with huge, dirty riffs for supremacy as keys gate-crash the party. This is merely “Overture”, which ‘welcomes’ you into proceedings.

“Avant” is rolled into, themes continuing the journey, before an almost funky beat sideswipes and rewards, but with phased vocals and an intentionally fuzzy sound, don’t think Garrett is offering you the chance to groove for too long. Each piece pretty much segues into the next, as it does with “Avant3-Ahip1-Caine”, where that beat evolves into a synthed surge. More Caine audio overlaps into the track’s outro, a questionable theme of attitudes gone by (you’d hope) playing out uncomfortably.

“Bak1” picks up a gritty groove and then spits it out through “The Eternal Laugh”, where giggles, guffaws and what sounds like birds cackling is looped over a wash of sounds. Until now things have hardly been bright, breezy and accessible, but running at over 14 minutes, the patience is tested for the first time proper here, even if the latter stages are more music based. And that for me is the challenge. What has been crafted is undoubtedly skilled and intriguing, with “Quiet” anything but living up to its name and “Scorpio Ramos” an almost Blacksploitation piece of grind. But the 7 minutes 25 of “Saddam-Escape”, which provides a couple of minutes of George W Bush Jnr offering his inimitable babble regarding the ex-Iraqi leader, before sliding into a dream-like avante slither, may be excellently put together, however for me, one listen to this type of thing is undoubtedly enough.

If you’re looking for a rough ride with some unavoidably exciting pay-offs and a cinematic feel, then maybe you’ll welcome the invite to Let’s Get Surreal. Just don’t be too surprised when its welcome embrace somehow manages to keep you simultaneously at arm’s length.

Track Listing
1. Overture
2. Avant
3. Avant3-Ahip1-Caine
4. Bak1
5. The Eternal Laugh
6. Quiet
7. Saddam-Espace
8. Gorf
9. Ahip2-Reprise-Bak3-Unknown
10. Scorpio-Ramos
11. Sinister
12. Avant4-Outtro-Epilogue

Added: March 10th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Let's Get Surreal @ CD Baby
Hits: 2046
Language: english

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