Music News

Alphabets

This is the eleventh release of the year for Alphabets, aka Colin Ward. With a release corresponding to each month, Ward explored whatever musical ideas came to mind, with varying results. Nov09 is among the strongest of the 2009 releases. Hashing together white noise, abused electronic noisemakers, melodic synth lines and electronic percussion, there's an obvious exuberance in the performance that resembles a lo-fi mirror of Broadcast and the Focus Group's Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age. Nov09 is relentlessly inventive, with a rapidly cycling range of textured sounds and rhythms. It fearlessly and unself-consciously blurs the line between noise, indie pop and the avant-garde. This may not yet be Ward's masterpiece, but its upbeat pace and playful tone makes it an enjoyable listen throughout.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.