March 8, 2012

2012.03.08 Ativin - German Water

Color: Black

Released: 1998, July 1

Label: Secretly Canadian

This is why this blog is dangerous. At least in terms of my budget. When I had posted about that Early Day Miners record, and mentioned this band I thought “Oh man… I don’t have any Ativin on vinyl… I should see if I could track some down.” Luckily, the folks at Secretly Canadian had this beaut in stock. The sleeve of the record is beautifully screen printed with two colors on sage green paper. I really like how the song titles are printed on top of the track time lengths. Even the insert, with the album credits, is screen printed on a nice heavy stock paper. It’s curious, then, why the labels on the wax are the odd man out - neither paper color nor typeface seem to relate to the rest of the packaging at all. Curious. It should also be noted that the vinyl artwork is slightly different then the CD version. I once read a description of the band somewhere that stated that Ativin were basically a quiet version of Roadside Monument. Talk about cop out. It’s true these bands were kin and waded in similar streams - but Ativin used repetition and rhythm to build tension in wholly different ways. They knew how to throw a glorious curve ball as well. On “Stations” the band creates a bed of looping snare where quiet guitars ever so gently weave in and out - staying at the same pace for over 6 minutes. Just when you are ready to write the track off as some artsy textural experiment, guitars build to a glorious cacophonic uprising. Is cacophonic even a word? Cacophonous? Cacophonous.

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