Gate - A Republic Of Sadness LP
Label: Ba Da Bing
Michael Morley, aka Gate, may be more well known for his work in legendary New Zealand noiserockers the Dead C, but he's been making Gate records just as long. Those Gate records have all been pretty much stone cold classics. The Dew Line is one of THE most unsung, underappreciated weirdo outsider pop records EVER. Golden is ostensibly a noise record, but manages to harness noise into something much more beautiful and listenable and lovely. And now we have A Republic Of Sadness – a strange swirling assemblage of lush guitar textures, turntable loops, crooned lo-fi bedroom pop and skittery IDM style beats, woven into dark, woozy, abstract electronic drone pop.
The opener "Forever" is totally gorgeous, built atop a scratchy turntable loop, that Basinski-like backdrop repeats endlessly, drifting in its cloud of crackle and pop, while Morely unfurls a distorted dreamy croon. It's like Gas meets Jeck meets Basinski meets The Caretaker meets Sentridoh. Utterly trancelike and mesmerizing. "All" starts out with soft swaths of synth, before a weird clattery lo-fi distorted beat lurches into action. In come Morely's creepy distorted mumbled vocals – mysterious, mournful and intimate. Like the track before, the non essentials are jettisoned, and the layered loopscape plays out hypnotically. The rest of the record constructs similarly twisted bits of lo-fi electronica, woven into skittery dreamscapes, and muted minimal grooves, slipping fuzzy shoegaze guitardrone to creaking industrial rhythms and gorgeous pulsing synthscapes that will have fans of Oneohtrix, Emeralds, Gottsching and other krautdrone explorers frothing, for sure!