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Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Vivian Girls

Ariel Rosenberg's creations are like a musical magic lantern. Through tricks of arcane technology, Rosenberg re-creates common, recognizable elements, but generates them as warped and shifting shadows of themselves. The slightly manic creative force behind Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Rosenberg owes a heavy debt to '70s and '80s pop, notably Elton John, David Bowie and the new-wave post-punk backslide of later Talking Heads records. To find these hallmarks, though, you have to be willing to slog through dense layers of reverb, and the inherently murky quality of music recorded at home on an 8-track. Even for the initiated, Pink's music has a decidedly uneasy feel to it, like a dream sequence where everything around you is just unfamiliar enough to make you feel uneasy, though you can't put your finger on why. Vivian Girls' lo-fi indie thrashing makes fittingly messy accompaniment to Pink's calculated noise wash. The Brooklyn trio has no interest in the bleedingly slow sentimental haze of Pink's '70s-radio worship, preferring to turn in heavily fuzzed-out blitzkriegs of pseudo-shoegaze and dark, edgy, girl-group time warps.

 
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