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

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ash Ra Tempel - The Best of the Private Tapes – Ash Ra Tempel is one of the core founder bands of the German space rock movement along with Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. But the group has suffered from less stateside notoriety than those previous...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues