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Michel, Nathan

Dear Bicycle

Tigerbeat6
CD $6.75

07/29/2003 751937509226 

MEOW 092 CD 


Dear Bicycle moves away from the lo-fi madness of Nathan Michel’s acclaimed Tigerbeat6 debut, Abc Def, into calmer waters of semi-pop pleasure. Momus has described Michel’s music as “very lovely, optimistic and playful sounding, always several steps ahead of habituation or boredom,” while DIW called his debut “very romantic and utterly creative.” Lush orchestral strings float above vocoder harmonies and disjunct piano loops. Dirty, prepared guitar solos mix with out-of-step, cheap keyboard accompaniment. Scraps of samples from sources like Patsy Cline, Bach, and Spike Jones are woven into acoustic and electronic textures. While Abc Def edits the source material to bits, Dear Bicycle often allows the sound sources to speak for themselves, unedited. Many of the songs on Dear Bicycle also feature Michel’s quiet singing. His lyrics range from the pastoral imagery of “On the Monorail” and “Rings” to the profoundly ambiguous “I delight in what is right, if that is wrong I tell a little lie.” The album’s mix of the impersonal and formal with the nostalgic and direct is influenced as much by Robert Wyatt, Brian Eno, The Beatles, and Erik Satie as by Nobukazu Takemura, Mouse on Mars, DAT Politics, and Christian Fennesz. Nathan Michel currently lives in New Jersey where he is a Ph.D. composition fellow at Princeton. Although he has studied with many fantastic teachers over the years, including the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, he still tries to make music the same way he did when he was just a kid — fumbling around till he finds sounds that he likes. Forthcoming projects include a track on a new Skipp Records compilation and a release of live laptop performances on the Italian label Mr. Mutt. More live shows are in the works as well.

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