AERIAL M Aerial M (Domino)

As the press release that accompanied this seven track CD seems unusually reticent on the information front, the facts are these: Aerial M consist of "three guitars, a bass, drums and a shaker recorded in Louisville, Kentucky by Dave Pajo", and that he/they offer(s) "folk music, punky, scratchy guitars, low key jazziness, an awareness of dance beats, a series of rhythms that ebb and flow, and just before its all over, an evocation of classical overtones. Always backed by firm indivisible drumming."

Perhaps Aerial M might better reach his/their target audience if Domino just slapped a sticker on the cover of the album that read "Sounds like Tortoise!", because that’s exactly who Aerial M remind me of. Not, it has to be said, the sleek, techno-friendly Tortoise of "Millions Now Living Will Never Die", but more the angular, difficult, cerebral but ultimately enlightening Tortoise of their eponymous debut album, all fully-interlocking Beefheartian guitar lines and melodies that sound as if they wear lab coats to work. Which, given that the next Tortoise waxing isn’t scheduled to arrive until the wrong side of Christmas, means that Aerial M receive a hearty recommendation from me for the meanwhile...and hopefully by then Domino will have magiced up a more inspiring description for them than "a new blue sound, legs of rock and light coloured eyes".

P.S. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit this or proud to confirm it, but exhaustive post review research (i.e. reading the insert to "Millions Now Living Will Never Die") reveals that the membership of Tortoise contains one Dave Pajo. Doh...

AERIAL M Post Global Music (Domino)

In which reclusive Louisville guitar legend Dave Pajo (of, at one time or another, Slint, Tortoise and Royal Trux) hands over his introspective instrumental doodlings to a select band of remixers, "Post Global Music" being the result of the exercise. And pretty fine it is too: as an attempt to broaden the palette of Aerial M's music it works perfectly. Following the creakings of a more dance-oriented direction evident in his last few singles, Flacco (UK), Tied And Tickled Trio (Germany) and DJ Your Food (Japan) nudge various flavours of Pajo's "Wedding Songs" into the shallower, balmier waters of techno by adding sympathetic beats and the odd unexpected touch - the saxophone and string section drone at the end of Tied And Tickled Trio's "Wedding Song Remix" just has to be a homage to T.Rex's "Rip Off", for example. The second side is taken up entirely by fellow former Tortoise member Bundy K Brown's (deep breath...) "Attention Span Deficit Disorder Disruption; a journey wherein the Cheech Wizard seeks the gateway out of the world of red dust, and learns that running between the raindrops won't save you from the Chocolate Thunder", which, fortunately, is far easier to listen to than type, culminating in a typically Aerial M round of looped, interlocking guitar melodies.

"Post Global Music" successfully opens out Dave Pajo's sound, in a similar manner to what "Kicking A Dead Pig" did for Mogwai's music. Still, while never being less than utterly pleasant, it's nowhere near the remix album they all have to beat, Primal Scream's stunning "Echo Dek".

Papa M