By 1991, a second wave of "shoe-gazer" bands like Spiritualized, Chapterhouse and Spirea X expanded upon the hazy, psychedelic pop of groups like Lush and the Pale Saints in favor of absolute trippy gauziness. But by the end of '91 -- with the release of watershed albums like My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" and Primal Scream's "Screamadelica" -- the shoe-gazing book was essentially closed, as those two albums said all that could be said within the genre and most of the other bands had moved onto other areas of musical exploration. Yet here we are a dozen years later (Has it been that long?), and Manitoba (aka a lone Canadian by the name of Dan Snaith) takes up the genre's wispy, beat-driven ethereality on "Up In Flames." Snaith had already established Manitoba as an IDM project with 2001's "Start Breaking My Heart," but here, he looks backward for inspiration and comes up with something wonderful. Up In "Flames" is possessed of all the densely layered guitars and effects that made the 4AD and Creation labels such havens for interesting, dreamy pop in the early '90s, but Snaith also has more than a couple Warp records stashed in his crates. Thus, this album -- especially with tracks like the melodically dense "Skunks" and the militaristic jazz rumble of "Twins" -- resolves the glistening chasm between IDM's starkness and the joys of richly evocative pop music by simply taking the best of both and creating something unique.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.