White Noise Carousel – iaminthedirectory (Psy-Harmonics)

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Wow – where to start? This may just be Australian album of the year, and it’s only March…!

White Noise Carousel (WNC) are Boyd Karab and Nadav Rayman, based in Melbourne, and iaminthedirectory is their first proper album. This has to be one of the most stunning debuts I’ve ever heard. It’s clear these guys have been honing their craft for years, because there is not a single note or sound that’s out of place.

Why is this album so good? Because it captures a genius loci, or spirit of place – that place being Melbourne. The warm synth sounds and spacey Rhodes piano of ‘KindofForever’ conjure up hot summer evenings in St Kilda – the sun setting over the bay; or strolling along Swanston Street on a sultry Friday night, people sitting at pavement cafes…

‘Sleeper’ and ‘Memories’ are two consecutive slices of beatless ambience, redolent of the sounds of the city – the warning pings before the carriage doors open, the subterranean rumble of trains as you climb the escalators, half-heard snatches of conversation as you stand at the traffic lights, disconnected bits of music from office workers’ MP3 players, the beep of a security pass over a sensor…

‘SubconsciousRelay’ is crying out for a remix to unleash its full dancefloor potential. ‘Koan’ is reminiscent of one of Eno’s miniatures from Music for Films.

‘SensorBlowflies’ and ‘iaminthedirectory’ both feature spoken-word vocals from actor/playwright Sam Sejavka. Sejavka has a sensuous baritone voice, and his evocative, noir-ish Beat poetry is perfectly soundtracked by WNC.

Melburnians, listen to iaminthedirectory and hear your city celebrated in sound. Everyone else, enjoy some very cool (or should I say warm?) metropolitan electronica, and find out why we love this place so much…!

This is an absolute corker. If a better album comes out of Melbourne this year, I shall eat my (undeniably stylish, green plaid) hat.

Ewan Burke

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