Von Sleight – New Kraut Album Review

New technology is odd as, in a way, it points out how much making decent art really has to do with choices more than anything else. I’ve always been one to oft opine that the second you pick up a guitar and write a song, even if you have no talent whatsoever, you’re probably better than some of the biggest “artists” of our times. Seriously, there’s no way that three-chord punk tune about the tits of the girl in your biology class you just cobbled together is worse than the bullshit Linkin Park’s been spitting for the last decade. No fucking way. It takes a lot of time, effort, ego, and generalized douchebaggery to suck that badly at anything. Trust me on this one.

Von Sleight is one of those acts that doesn’t do anything particularly well, and yet decidedly doesn’t suck either. Parts of this album sound like a barely competent rhythm section trying desperately to hold together the most simplistic of grooves imaginable, but you know, it’s not really about the groove, is it? It’s more about the layers of weird bleerps and tweeks layered on top of the groove. The groove is just there to lull your mind into a false comfort zone while the bleerps and tweeks subtly weird you out. And weird you out subtly they do.

This is the kind of relatively unassuming instrumental psych record that you’ve listened to three times or so without it making much of an impression, and then one morning you throw it on while the sun’s breaking through your window and voila, it all comes together: “Yes, the way that synth tone backs out there and the sample’s doing the squee-eeerm whizzle whizzle thing is quite beautiful, isn’t it? How did I not catch that before?”

As I said before, it’s all about choices, and rather than starting a crappy emo band in 2005, Von Sleight decided to start a bizarro neo-krautrock vibing synth project. This is their fifth album, and I’d guess that before next year is over, they’ll probably release another few just because, you know, it’s fun to fuck with your own head. You see, good decisions. Christ, I sound like my grandma.

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