Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cagey House Lark (Free Range Beats)

Cagey House is the pseudonym for David Keifer, an american musician, who has released shitloads of albums under (net)labels during last 5 years. However, it is quite complicated to figure out the complete list of his discography. Cagey House is partially defined through electronic pop fused with art-pop, weird pop and synthetic fusion influences, and thereby sharing the similar position with such acts as Drugs Made Me Smarter, Nogaro and Bockholt, for instance. David Keifer has his first start described in the following way: “I was writing fairly typical rock/pop instrumental things. Kind of like what the Ventures would have done if they'd played fruityloops instead of guitars.” Indeed, Keifer`s sonic texture is quite unconventional in these days. It is strongly influenced by fly high electronic pop of 70s a la Kraftwerk and Droids, and by the retrofuturistic signs and undercurrents, particularly by exotica pop and space age pop tunes. In fact, Keifer`s aim to create music is obviously not beared down on the utopistic beliefs to the omnipotence to (music) machines to establish something like never-have-listened-to-it-before. It just could only have an ironic flashback to those “old good times”. By the way, on the album Elephant Orange (2006, Umor Rex) I found a track entitled as Bebe Ebullient (I would even surprised if it wouldn`t have the reference to Bebe Barron, one of the biggest names in space age pop). Furthermore, Keifer is supposed to use spare sonic language (it usually does it mean, his music is more linear, rather than polyphonic), and the songs have the length no longer as 3 minutes. Actually, the only albums which were tended more toward conventional electronic music, and also modern classical music, were Model City (2007, Nishi) and Drawing Monsters (2008, Dog Eared). Those LPs were run through seemingly lazily developing yet catchy melodic lines, thereby were drew apart from colourfulness of the sonic textures on the first albums. In fact, Steel Tantrum (2005, Nishi) is being an exception too, from time to time fulfilled with harsh and desolate tunes coming out from dystopic society out of Earth somewhere. The soundscape of this album doesn`t even sound gruesomely, it is rather like to bring forth one hopeless world for the listeners.

After The Cosmic Drain (2008, Umor Rex) Keifer started with collecting his own sound samples, which he used in place of the sounds in Fruityloops. All those sounds he had collected from the web – cartoon sounds, radio telescope sounds from outer space that astronomers have recorded, samples of Viking instruments, and instruments from India and Africa with a lot of vocal samples – are appeared at its best on the albums The Cartoon Mouse Regards (2009, Bump Foot) and Lark (2009, Free Range Beats).

Lark is in its all extensions veiled through haunting melodies, obscure mini-orchestrations, analog electronic sounds conjured from vintage synths and theremins, appeared as thing-in-itself and in all possible combinations of the aforementioned elements. The vocal samples which tonality has been varied through drifting between the half notes and whole tones, and thereof transformed into an elusive form, will only magnify the obscurity of the album as the whole one. You can touch an intimate but eerie milieu on this album more suitable to get sonic frames for the horror doll show than for usual listening. Otherwise it can imagine as the return back to the old house again, having brimful of good memories, and baleful shadows as well. From start to finish, all those 23 minutes are the very intense ones, and instantly ready to uncover David Keifer`s nature as a genius.

Download it from here