Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two Thousand Eight - 8. Max Tundra - Parallax Error Beheads You

Should I use this space to talk about how much I'm still obsessed with Mastered By Guy at the Exchange, roughly five years after I first heard it? I'll do my best not to.

As I wrote back in October, I think it was, I expected great things from Max Tundra's long awaited follow up. And yeah, he delivered. I didn't go through the roof when I heard it, but it would have been impossible to take the same colossal leap forward from album two to three that he made from one to two. That would have required a recalibration of the word "greatness".

Nobody wants to admit that there are limitations to how good something can be. Everyone wants to believe that the musicians they look up to can constantly be taking steps forward and that everything can be constantly getting better. Radiohead seems able to convince people that they're always capable of blowing the lid off the musical zeitgeist and getting fucking crazy and blowing everyone's mind, keeping hope alive for the myth of musical progress. With everyone else, you hope that they can make another good record.

Which Max Tundra has done. On merit alone, Parallax Error Beheads You is probably just as good as its predecessor. It has the same elements, it has songs that are really just as good as any on Guy, but inevitably it feels less original (I almost said less novel, which is also sort of true) and somehow more of its time than Guy, which still sounds totally and timelessly oddball. I could make the case that the record even holds together better than Guy does.

Fuck! This really is just me masturbating over Guy at the Exchange in a backhanded, 3 weeks into January year end list kind of way, isn't it? Pazz and Jop came out this week and I was all, what took you so long, but here I am only on number eight out of ten, and look how much trouble I'm having even coming with a good reasoning for why you should care about Parallax Error Beheads You.

It ought to be fucking easy. This is a fantastic record from a rare visionary that we should all be happy is still spending some of his time producing music, but it's extremely difficult for me to say why without falling back on a sui generis saying that it's a third Max Tundra record. It's a sui generis thing, or maybe an a priori thing. I was never good with Latin. Just watch the video, enjoy it as much as you possibly can, and let me go to sleep.

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