Released: 2000, December 26
Label: Temporary Residence Limited
Aside being on a label that I trust to put out quality music, I think what finally drove me to check out this band was a shout out from the band Shipping News between songs via some bootleg recording of theirs I was listening to at some point. I suppose you would lump them in the “math rock” category. But as I was listening recently I almost felt like I was listening to a jazz record. Stay with me on this. I suppose, like jazz, why some people don’t “get” bands like Rumah Sakit is because there isn’t anything totally accessible about them even in terms of instrumental music. The time signatures and shifting textures don’t make this music easy to follow. But if you just listen and let this record do what it does, there’s a definitely a method to the madness and you begin to hear all the parts and you begin to stop projecting your expectations on it and appreciate it for what it is. I feel like this is true of jazz too. I’m no expert on jazz. Very far from it (which is why, even though I own a decent amount of it, I’ve not written about much on here). To begin to appreciate it, I had to leave preconceptions at the door. Same here. There are similarities to a lot of the luminaries of this scene - and why maybe at first this band may be overlooked compared to the more well known names of the genre - but the band’s tendency towards jazz like structures, and their ability to quiet things to almost a still and meander off on a different path for a bit, set them apart. It’s just not necessarily immediately apparent. Good packaging is always an excellent representation of the music contained within. And so it is with the artwork on this self titled record. It’s a bit abstract and you must work at it a bit. It seems to represent a cityscape. But is that all that’s really being presented here?
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