Exposé Online banner

Alpine Decline — Go Big Shadow City
(Tenzenmen 156tzm, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-03-27

Go Big Shadow City Cover art

This is Alpine Decline’s fifth outing – I’ve covered their previous reverb-drenched dark psychedelic releases in previous reviews, and Go Big Shadow City doesn’t signal any kind of change in direction. I’ve seen the band live, and can attest to the fact that they sound very much the same on stage as they do in the studio. The duo of Jonathan Zeitlin and Pauline Mu can really fill up a room with sound, between the collection of effects pedals on Zeitlin’s guitar, the reverb on his voice, and Mu’s use of a keyboard next to her drum kit. Presumably they use overdubs in the studio to accomplish the same multitasking with a bit less effort, adding in other parts as well for an even bigger sound. But with all the cavernous reverberation, it’s pretty difficult to make out exactly what they’re doing. I know that this foggy indistinct sound is exactly what they’re looking for – it’s an esthetic choice, and one that lots of artists make. Producer Yang Haisong usually favors a bit more sonic definition (as on PK15 and After Argument), but in this case meets the band halfway. The sound is big and complex enough to keep my interest, though I do occasionally long for some cleaner sounds to latch onto. Keeping the listener off guard like this is probably their intention, but it can get a little tiring after a while. Fans of bands like The Black Angels should feel right at home here, but for myself I can wish for a little more variation in the future.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Alpine Decline

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Soundscape Gallery 2 – On the heels of last year's excellent ambient anthology comes a new gallery from Lektronic Soundscapes, a second overview of what is still a unique and inventive genre. There are not as many big...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues