Public Memory is a blend of damaged and dubbed out percussion, unfurling synths and sparse sampling all strung together by producer Robert Toher's spectral tenor. The project's sophomore LP, Demolition follows 2017's Veil of Counsel EP and 2016's Wuthering Drum LP with cinematic fortitude.While Public Memory's prominent krautrock and triphop rhythms are represented here, Demolition explores a greater range of tempos and an expanse of alien emotions with layers of electronic drums, live drums, Korg synths and samples from nature. Themes of rebirth and reflection imbue the album's atmosphere, rich in tape delay, spring reverb, and textures that conjure a sci fi and supernatural narrative.Toher's adept use of space and tension articulates the world of Demolition as eerie, emotive, and above all, narcotic.Each track is an existential procession. "Turning out the lights on your illusion," Toher sings to close the album, accepting that change is an inescapable condition of being.
Public Memory is a concoction of damaged dubbed-out percussion, unfurling tape-delayed synths and sparse sampling - all strung together by producer Robert Toher's snarling tenor. This music is a kind of exotic crossroads between krautrock, trip hop and coldwave, with traces of Radiohead's Kid A drifting up through its floor.
Veil Of Counsel is the first formal release since the band's March 2016 debut, Wuthering Drum and July's standalone single, "Gate At The End" . With titles "Verdict," "Afterlife" and "Ecco", its three tracks seem to create a chronology that in themselves perhaps mark the end of the Wuthering Drum era, as the band anticipates a second album later in 2017. Effectively, each track showcases a singular world, one distinct from the next. Each are different vestiges of paths not explored during Wuthering Drum, or maybe each is foreshadowing what may be yet to come, though Veil Of Counsel does not feel like a mere construction from the scraps left on its predecessor's cutting-room floor. These are ardent, earnest songs, crafted in colours and rhythms tapped right from the band's source; a kind of alien emotion that walks the tightrope between one part romantic, nostalgic - the other introspective and dystopian.
Public Memory is the solo project of Brooklyn's Robert Toher, recorded over the course of a year as he lived in Los Angeles temporarily. Previously of the group ERAAS, Robert places a greater emphasis on electronics in this new project. Rhythm is at the forefront, with the tone informed by stripped down, narcotic impressions of krautrock, hypnotic percussion, and subtly layered atmospherics. Spectral vocals meld with delicate piano against hip hop beats and a dub sensibility, conjuring clouded lights, foggy glass in empty buildings, urban wraiths.
To call it minimal would, on the surface, seem appropriate. Wuthering Drum does not need an abundance of flashes and frills to illustrate its point, nor does it need smoke and mirrors to mask a lack of vision. However, repeated listens yield layers of tonal variations, textural nuance, and tastefully placed overdubs.
There is a slightly religious or spiritual element at Wuthering Drum's core; a sense of being in an existential crisis, while simultaneously being uplifted, in the face of change. This is the search for redemption in a far away place, away from comfort; it is adjustment to an inner dissonance, rather than the washing over of past fears and regrets with sterile holy waters.