The Wire, April 2005 | by Sam Davies

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 protégé (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.