Australian beatmaker Max Crumbs’ debut album seems unassuming at first, but it makes a pretty big first impression. The way the drums hit on “Sunbath” recall any number of Clams Casino tracks, but instead of slow, bitcrushed distortion, we get a flurry of chopped up piano trills, drum rolls, and a few other sounds and voices buried in there. It only lasts two minutes, but says a lot more than most other two minutes I’ve heard recently.
The whole album continues in this fashion, coming up with a hypnotic loop, then densely chopping it up for a few minutes before moving on. A few longer tracks do add some more synth and guitar elements, and some have echo-covered percussion sounds in addition to the hard-hitting beats. The 15 tracks on the album go by pretty quickly and the last track ends very abruptly, so it almost feels like more of a beat tape than a proper album at first. But listening to it more closely for review, there definitely seems to be more instruments and elements than I even noticed at first. The detailed production brings to mind Madlib and older Four Tet, and some of Flying Lotus’ cosmicness, but it maintains its own unique sound.
Surprisingly enough, this turns out to be a project of Max Kohane, who drums in several grindcore bands, and is also in Pivixki with Anthony Pateras. I reviewed one of their CDs a while ago and wasn’t too into it; it was thrashy and technical but just didn’t work. This album pays plenty of attention to detail, but there’s also a remarkable amount of heart and soul as well. Completely unexpected, and very impressive.