Music News

Cryptacize

California's Cryptacize throws another option into the timeless debate over whether less is more, or less is less, or more is less, or more is more. That's because the trio of Nedelle Torrisi, Chris Cohen and Michael Carreira offers less and more at precisely the same time. On Dig That Treasure, recently issued on the Asthmatic Kitty imprint, songs such as "We'll Never Dream Again" feature spare instrumentation that leaves lots of room for air around the gently plucked guitar and delicate warbling of Torrisi and Cohen. Yet the arrangements are frequently complex and ambitious in a primitive sort of way, thanks to unusual juxtapositions and dramatic flourishes aplenty. There's no denying that the cutesy "Cosmic Sing-a-long" may irritate some listeners even as it beguiles others. Still, Cryptacize, joined by Oblio Duo and Josephine & the Mousepeople, deserves credit for combining restraint and excess rather than choosing between them.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts