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Album Review
Next We Bring You The Fire

Next We Bring You The Fire
by Signer

A Low Hum

Review Date
25th December 2009
Reviewed by
Brannavan Gnanalingam

New Zealander Bevan Smith makes an incredible amount of music for a number of different projects (including Signer, Skallander, and formerly Over the Atlantic). However Signer is mostly a solo Smith project, and allows his eclectic background a chance to coalesce into single albums. His latest, Next We Bring You the Fire has been released on the A Low Hum label (and released on vinyl via Smith’s own Carpark Records). It brings his production skills to the fore, and maintains a steely rigour to it's sound despite the multitude of musical references.

The album did however get off to a bit of a slow start. ‘Nord All Black Keys’ delayed the album’s drive, and the crescendo didn’t quite pay off its long build-up. The slinky ‘+ kicks and kicks’ gives the album a boost of energy, but the first few tracks felt like they were drifting at points. It wasn’t until the second half of the album when Smith marries tension with the soundscapes, when the music really started to arrested attention.

Next We Bring You the Fire isn’t as austere as some of Smith’s best work, and obvious comparisons could be made to the loops of Panda Bear’s Person Pitch or to ambient techno. Instead, the album’s experimentation manages to remain remarkably warm. As a key member of local ‘90s electronic scenes, he’s also not ashamed to sound at points particularly cheesy (e.g. in the album’s highlight ‘Don’t Be a Forest Cow’). Smith’s soundscapes are beautiful throughout, and further evidence of his singular talent.

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