ackerman: 10:56am (Natural Causes)


ackerman’s bandcamp profile states that their music is “made for dark rooms”. Where I live it is 10:45am, and it’s hard to imagine that the goofy whistling and lush sample loop belongs in such a shadowy environment. The song exudes quiet optimism, perhaps unintenionally. 10:56am is a warm and reverberated sojourn through sampling, analog instruments, and surprising percussion.

The aforementioned percussion in 10:56am is minimal for the most part, only offering the odd simple drum line and momentary tribal flourish. That’s not to say the percussion is bad – it’s very tastefully interspersed throughout the song, and its minimalism is calculated. That’s my favorite thing about this track: it doesn’t languish in its own sound, instead making seamless transitions into the exploration of new sounds and the continuation of old ones. It’s hard to tell the difference between organic and synthesized sounds, and it works in the track’s favor. The song opens with static and unintelligible voices (the beginning of Laughing Heiroglyphic?) and shifts into the sampled voices of a child and mother. At 3:33 we hear vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Beach Boys or Person Pitch, brewing quietly under the surface of simple guitar. At 4:52 there is something resembling a breakbeat and whistling to accompany an electric guitar. All these descriptions are useless, however, since listening to the track will tell you more about ackerman than words ever can.

The clean electric guitar, chimey synths, and unintelligible harmonies remind me of Topaz. All the comparisons I’ve made to Topaz and Animal Collective are compliments of the highest order – though their references show, ackerman are absolutely unique in their interpretations. 10:56am is a complete sonic environment, a kaleidoscopic journey of different sounds from start to finish.

You can PAY WHAT YOU WANT for ackerman’s album on bandcamp, and you should do it. Right now.

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