While originally hailing from the town of Christchurch on the other side of the Tasman, classical post-dreamgaze quartet Miniatures relocated to Melbourne some time ago – which is lucky because otherwise I wouldn’t get to cover them here on Happy*. They spent 2013 recording some songs in a bedroom – the result of which is the luscious four track noise retrospective that is DIS.
I’m not sure how to approach DIS – should I review it track by track? Should I write a comedy bit about how cold climes produce good noise bands? Should I throw around all the classic shoegaze adjectives like ‘ethereal’ and ‘sublime’? Or should I pretend I know what I’m talking about and continue to throw around terms like classical post-dreamgaze?
Let’s just say this – if you like any aspect of dream pop, shoegaze or post-rock, you’ll enjoy Miniatures new EP from start to finish. Track 1 – Sine confronts us with a wall of noise, created through an infinitely repeating delay, layers upon layers being added to the wall until the sheer acoustic energy collapses in a cascade of undulating white noise. The guitars on this track are super cool – taken out of context they could be anything from whale song to human voices to organ tones. 10/10 from the Russian judge on this one.
Anybody Silent and Faulted follow up with a classic shoegaze perspective – female vocals, exploding snares, grizzly bass fuzz and pre-britpop guitars drowned in oceanic reverb yet high-end and brightly boosted. While these tracks take influence from bands such as Curve and Lush, who wrote music in a scene that was dealing with grunge, riot grrrl and production limitations, Miniatures escape mediocrity by incorporating non-pop song structures and a full bodied approach to noisecraft. Closer Last Day is a further gamechanger, throwing in electronic elements with choral background noise and programmed drumbeats – yet all the elements seem to fit together like a glove. Perhaps the only qualm I have with the EP comes in the form of the delayed vocals on this last track, which seem cheesily produced and a little out of place on a record that revels in dissociative textures and meaningless waves of sound – and even so, this complaint is but a small one.
It’s not a fun EP, yet it’s not a dark or introspective one. It doesn’t make you feel a certain way, nor is it appropriate for any particular moment or event in your day. If anything it shows what a couple of kids from NZ (just like you or me) can do with a bit of musical gear and enough recording time. We look forward to seeing Miniatures take more of their bedroom produced sounds out to the Australian public, but we’re also keen to hear what these guys can come up with for a full length LP.
DIS is available to stream and as a NYP download on their bandcamp. Enjoy!
*Happy is considering including NZ in 2014. So much good stuff coming from NZ.