Sone Institute: Curious Memories
Front & Follow

Sone Institute's debut album Curious Memories is a dizzying, free-wheeling channel-surf generated from found sounds, magnetic tape recordings, stringed instruments, and a veritable cornucopia of sonic material. The wonky, forty-three-minute collection by Roman Bezdyk leans towards the surreal and the fantastical though a few moments of sanity prevail too, even if they're often dashed aside by Bezdyk's phantasmagoric vision. After the journey commences with the herky-jerky carnival hip-hop of “Inter Asylum Cross Country,” discombobulation sets in with the onset of “The Wind Began to Switch,” which, in little more than three minutes, sprints from an anarchic episode of declamatory horns and wah-wah electric guitar (and a core melody seemingly borrowed from Rare Earth's “I Just Want to Celebrate Another Day of Living”) into an orchestral section of strings and harps. “Hobbyhorse” offers a snappy and demented take on techno that's derailed by a number of curve balls, while “Plane Sailing Song” resembles a sleeping pill of bucolic piano cheeriness that's beset by intrusions. Bezdyk wisely reins in the madness after the opening songs so that the recording settles down by the time the child-like reverie of “Tiny Stars Peer Over the Little Roof” and lightly swinging lounge of “Lazy London Ways” surface. But after that middle-section dip into control and restraint, the material again flirts with derangement (albeit briefly). The uptempo wonderland “On Tree Hill” (replete with a “Fool on the Hill” sample) jumpstarts an apparent return to madness before the cooler head of the lounge waltz “Tea for Four” prevails. “Sleep Has Its Embers” ends the album sweetly with a one-minute coda of harp and violin. Needless to say, the recording's a wild ride that'll probably appeal most to listeners with similarly over-caffeinated dispositions.

February 2010