Immaculately interwoven electronics and beautifully recorded
Akron/Family have a difficult act to follow. The last time Michael Gira took
an unknown under his wing on Young God Records, the protÃ©gÃ© (Devendra
Banhart) went on to eclipse the patron, signing for XL. Like Banhart,
Akron/Family's hushed leftfield pastoralism invite comparison with the loose
US scene of folk-derived weirdness.: The instrumentation is largely
acoustic, the songs are edits of lengthy jamming (implying all kinds of
trance free form exploration), and the name suggests these Williamsburg
residents form an Ex-style domestic commune.
On the contrary, the four Family members (Dana Janssen, Seth Olinski, Ryan
Vanderhoof and Miles Seaton) produce a sound that rings with a sober
concentration at odds with the psychedelic agenda of much of free folk.
Immaculately interwoven electronics and the care with which each beautifully
recorded track unfolds recall Chicago post-rock instead. Some occasional
eruptions wouldn't hurt, without sacrificing the elegiac, late night, early
morning ambience. Their composure is broken somewhat by the meandering fuzz
guitar on "Suchness" and serpentine slide on "Afford", permitting
Akron/Family to escape self consciousness. But this disc is a brimful of
quiet and fastidious touches.