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Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015

Instrumentals 2015

Instrumentals 2015

After a fifteen-year hiatus, Bristol, England’s Flying Saucer Attack (otherwise known as David Pearce) has basically released a “guitar-noise tape.” Except, like most solo guitar-noise tapes, this one has been pressed on vinyl, burned onto a CD, and given a wide release by two well-established labels with considerable PR budgets.  Don’t get me wrong; Instrumentals 2015 is an exceptional guitar-noise tape, but would it stand out from the very crowded noise tape-trading scene if this had been released under a different name by an unknown artist in an edition of 100 home-dubbed tapes with home-made covers? We’ll never know unless someone does exactly that just to mess with the internet music hype mill (if you do, please send me a copy). I’m a bit of a Flying Saucer Attack obsessive, so I had no pause in pre-ordering Instrumentals 2015 from Drag City when it was announced, and I do not regret doing so.

David Pearce

David Pearce

Instrumentals 2015 is welcome on my turntable because it feels so damn close to home both as a noise “hobbyist” performer (like most people in the genre, I do not do it for a living, nor do I get paid for doing so) and as an experimental/noise record-label owner.  The album sounds like it could have been released by any one of my friends; hell, had it been disguised and left masked, it could have been a new Insect Factory tape.

So what does this mean for the average fan of Flying Saucer Attack?  If you like minimal, hazy, and multi-layered fuzzed-out guitar noise with some sense of melody, then Instrumentals 2015 should be right up your alley. I think it’s great for what it is, but the project of fifteen years ago had such interesting “phases” and changes to its sound that it makes this album really fall short of expectations.  It ends up sounding more like a collection of incomplete ideas or demos and not a carefully composed album. Is it a great starting point if you’re new to Flying Saucer Attack? No. Instrumentals 2015 is really limited in terms of what most of the project’s fans know Pearce is capable of doing when blending minimalist folk with noise, meditative Popol Vuh-influenced ambient pieces, Zoviet France-like sound collages, and the now extremely mangled “shoegaze” sound which Flying Saucer Attack embodied so well in its early incarnation. I’d recommend new listeners to discover its debut self-titled album, followed by Further, New Lands, and Chorus, which is an excellent compilation of non-album tracks.

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Track List:

01) Instrumental 1
02) Instrumental 2
03) Instrumental 3
04) Instrumental 4
05) Instrumental 5
06) Instrumental 6
07) Instrumental 7
08) Instrumental 8
09) Instrumental 9
10) Instrumental 10
11) Instrumental 11
12) Instrumental 12
13) Instrumental 13
14) Instrumental 14
15) Instrumental 15

Rating: 8/10
Written by: J. M. Da Silva
Labels:
Drag City (United States) / DC489 / 12″ LP
Domino (United Kingdom) / WIG351 / 12″ LP, CD
Experimental / Space Rock / Shoegaze

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