Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Creatures - New Campaigns

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

It tends to go two ways with minimalist songs; they can either be excruciatingly dull or brilliantly captivating. There is some middle-ground but this general rule works more often than not. The debut EP from Berlin-based duo Creatures does what it needs to do: in order to get away with making minimalist music the songs have to be flipping good, otherwise you'll need to coat them in all kinds of instruments until they come to life. They start the EP with the title-track, and this one comes firmly under the flipping good banner. Musically there's an electric guitar that's occasionally strummed and some eerie production, besides that we're left with just the voice. Somehow they turn these few ingredients into a remarkably warm and accommodating song, perhaps because of the gentle reverb. It's surprisingly effective.

Creatures never entertain the possibility of aiming for something livelier, and they have no need. 'Profile & Status' has a bleak outlook, and while it hardly becomes Arcade Fire in full swing, the chiming guitar and synth effects once again bring a fuzzy warmth that allows the song to be the focus of attention. It might have a bleak outlook but they make it sound quite grand. Maybe the starkest of all is 'Mirror Mirror', The song has an ominous feel and also is made from few parts, but allowing these parts plenty of room to shimmer and reverberate works wonders, so although this in minimal it also has an expansive side which is a little paradoxical. If we focus on the music then you'd could take the simple effects that made the bare-bones tracks on Spacemen 3's 'Playing With Fire' album into something majestic, and perhaps mix in The xx and Tindersticks. 'By The Hour' very much continues down this route, and final track 'Black Economy' takes a simple guitar song and fills it with sound, proving yet again that minimal doesn't have to mean skeletal.

Creatures' website

Stream or buy the EP

Catch them live:

A READING (Presented by Black Cracker & Ricardo Domeneck)
Tues June 25 at 7:30pm in UTC+02, Chesters Club (Glogauerstraße 2, Berlin)

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