Animal Collective and Ogurusu Norihide

July 12

Two options for a disorienting Saturday night this week: Stay home and watch NBC's Critical Assembly, in which four college students build a nuclear bomb just "to prove how easily it can be done," but then regret their hubris when terrorists steal the damn thing. ("Mayhem follows," TV Guide assures.) Or hop in the car and head to Denton, where New York's Animal Collective will turn Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios into a byzantine sound world you're welcome to enter (with six bucks, Rubber Gloves assures). The group's new Here Comes the Indian will likely appeal to folks for whom the latest from Black Dice and Lightning Bolt represent new directions in noise, but there's a near-pastoral tenderness to Indian that's got me coming back to it; "Two Sails on a Sound" begins with the electronically modified chirping of crickets (or is it the chirping of electronically modified crickets?), out of which drifts some backward-masked string moan, sliced-and-diced human vocals and vaguely rhythmic percussive clang. If it doesn't scare you into turning on the lights, it might remind you of Björk's Vespertine, if Björk were the Blair Witch and didn't like dancing so much. Disorienting-by-association opener Ogurusu Norihide, a Shinto priest from Kyoto, couldn't frighten a cricket. His recent Modern is musical economy as a form: piano chords that ring out completely, gently plucked guitar arpeggios, a handclap or two and that's about it. Ogurusu calls his music "laptop folk," but Modern's so absolutely calm it sounds untouched by technology's rude bluster; perhaps he used the laptop to send comforting e-mails to his mother.

 
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