Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Track Of The Day: SJ Esau - 'Stubborn Step'

An interesting record that has fallen into my hands over the last few weeks is SJ Esau's new full length 'Exploding Views'. A quirky, genre-defying example of oddball freakpop, his third album is all over the place. In a good way. But what it lacks in focus it more than makes up for in imagination. On 'Stubborn Step', a pleasingly awkward math-rock rhythm plays with analogue synth squeals, spidery basslines and a typically off-kilter vocal. It's fair to say that the gracefully tranquil hum of the gorgeous 'Remotely' is a world away from the utter insanity found elsewhere on the joyfully polylithic 'Exploding Views', an album that skips around genres, bringing its musical vision to life with bizarre instrumentation and many unusual ways to twist melodic yet skewed pop melodies into the sort of stuff that could seriously mess with one's head. Bristol-based SJ Esau is also known by his real name, Sam Wisternoff. A launch night for the album takes place this Saturday (March 1) at The Cube in Bristol, where Esau will be joined by support acts Tom OC and Jemima Surrender.

Collective-zine.co.uk summed it up well: "If Brian Cant and Derek Griffiths had formed a rap group after they left Play Away/School, this is probably what it would have sounded like... A British “Spiderman of the Rings”, without, it seems, the attendant NY hipster douchebaggery."

Press release: "In the first full length from Bristol’s SJ Esau since ‘Small Vessel’ was released on Anticon in 2008, one could not hope for a more sublime distillation of Sam Wisternoff’s unique sonic worldview. ‘Exploding Views’ is a record both muscular and confident; destroyed analogue synths, demented loops and violent drums set the stage for his lyrical ambushes and infectious melodies. With this experimental pop album, Wisternoff steps out from amongst the myriad musicians and vocalists from whose contributions he has woven many aspects of previous releases and takes the forefront.

‘Exploding Views’ is released on fromSCRATCH records on March 3rd 2014.  The CD, digital and vinyl releases will be followed by a limited edition DVD in which every track will be accompanied by full blown visual realisations made by Wisternoff, whose other gig is as a video artist under the “Ill Spectre Productions” moniker."




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