Max Crumbs – Maidenhair (Sensory Projects)

You may think you know Max Kohane, drummer for grind merchants Agents of Abhorrence, part of experimental duo PIVIXKI with renowned improviser and new music composer Anthony Pateras, and member of cheeky electronic outfit Brain Children with Mikey Young (Eddie Current Suppression Ring). After all how many sides can there be to one man’s musical personality?

Well Maidenhair, perhaps named after a plant, suggests there’s at least one more. This is solo Max, a woozy bubbling almost narcotic electronica, brimming with samples, synths and squiggles that sound nothing like the aforementioned projects. Maidenhair is a gentle soup of ingredients, at times pitched like a seasick swell at others taking on a lazy r&b groove before delving into a noisy electro rock. What’s unique for electronic music is that not everything feels controlled. Ingredients float in and out, a skipping beat, amorphous samples, strange swirls of synth. The music breathes, almost pulses on its own. It feels like a living organism, There are multiple approaches here, strange unexpected stylistic juxtapositions, almost like he has just emptied out his musical brain into a bag, given it a shake and carefully picked out bits and pieces with little notion or care about musical convention. There’s everything from big sweeping melodic hooks, to looped grooves, and strangely rickety percussion. Voices sing out from beneath the swells, wistful synthetic swirls permeate.

It’s simultaneously playful and earnest. Whilst track titles like Yucky Oven, Undies and Choked on Yoga Mat suggest humour, and admittedly there is a certain playfulness in the way the sounds are arranged, the overriding impression is of beautifully wonky DIY beats under a synthetic swirl of discombobulating warmth and catchy, almost pop wooziness.  It’s possible he may have invented a new genre here.

 

 

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