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Familiar Puzzle
  • Artist: Newagehillbilly
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 634479160011
  • Item #: SRD916001
  • Genre: Electronic
  • Release Date: 2/3/2004
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
CD 
List Price: $9.98
Price: $8.78
You Save: $1.20 (12%)

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Description

Familiar Puzzle on CD

A one-generator of noise, grooves, and moods created on drum machines, synths, old cassette walkmans, samplers, mini-discs and other assorted noise makers. Newagehillbilly played more 'traditional rock' music in bands like Operation Huss and Charcoal in the late nineties. Mainly playing bass and Guitar. Other bands followed and Newagehillbilly began to explore new sounds and experimentation such as Rot Guts and Pillage of the Glass City. As a solo project and performer different levels are searched for musically and sonically, usaully resulting in textural soundscapes that vary from relaxing to chaotic. Newagehillbilly is Baltimore based and has performed with a wide range of bands/projects including Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cotton Casino (member of Acid Mother Temple), Drums and Tuba, Cho Experiment and many others. Contact Newagehillbilly@hotmail.com Review Taken from DirtyHouse ZINE from the Goucher College area Baltimore Md. New Age Hillbilly is Alex Strama from Maryland. He creates a minimal breed of guitar electronica. Very soothing and very calm, Familiar Puzzle is a good album to fall asleep with. The guitar on track 1, Stolen Wool, reminds me a bit of the soundtrack to the game Diablo. NAHB's work has much more depth to it however. Stolen Wool is haunting, atmospheric, and very ambient with various interesting electric noises coming in here and there. The chilled out plodding guitar line is tastefully done and ties the whole track together. Mr. Hillbilly continues his slow and somber journey with Nash Creek, a quickly memorable piece with a catchy melody. The track dissolves into quiet atmospheric noises and leads smoothly into Subway Song. This track consists of what sounds to me like noises you would hear in an empty subway. In the distance you hear various sounds and the regular rhythm of trains going through tunnels. Deep bass tones resonate and remind me of colossal machinery. What seems to be a collage of random noises gradually develops into a haunting melody by the end of the song. Olate builds up from a faint growling electronic tone joined with a bass drum rhythm. On it's own, this rhythm is rather disjointed but around 1:20 into the song, electronic clicks and beeps accompany it quite well. A fun thing about NAHB's tracks is that they gradually build from faint, sometimes random arrays of sound into coherent song. This reminds me a bit of Four Tet but Mr. Hillbilly seems more adventurous and more minimal. The sounds he has chosen vary widely but go together very well. I hear similarities to The Dust Brothers in some of the more electronic tracks. I have to say, though, that I much prefer the guitar driven tracks on the album. Kite/String ends Familiar Puzzle well with a nice collection of guitar sounds and a driving beat. Overall I was pleasantly surprised by NAHB's take on the indietronic variety of music that has been increasing in popularity. On the negative side, some tracks lacked direction. I would be happy to hear more melody in future releases as that seems to be something NAHB has a knack for (even though he displays it sparingly). Keep up the good work!