reviews – Anonymeye Motel

ANONYMEYE MOTEL

sonomu (Sweden)
http://sonomu.net/text/~anonymeye-anonym/
May 2009
review by Stephen Fruitman

Like an old vinyl album of country picking mysteriously infested with viruses from Oval..s skipping CDs and someone else..s radio frequencies. Half theory and half execution is key to appreciating what it is offering as it celebrates the resistence of roadside culture and mom-and-pop capitalism to the steamroller inevitability of “off-ramp” shopping and accomodation, all those boxes attached to the cloverleaves of modern highway systems like fungus.

Andrew Tuttle, the author of this quirky album, is both “Employee of the Month” and “owner and operator” of this motel, cleverly packaging his CD to resemble those folders with info about local amenties you can find in any hotel room. On the back cover,the tracks are listed as items on the room service menu.

It..s an irresistably wonky kind of music, bouncing off the walls and tossing around anything not nailed down. On the rare occasion he just lets loose on the guitar, like “Pacific Highway 3 pm”, he proves a talented and passionate picker, whereas on the following track – twelve hours earlier at “Pacific Highway 3 am”, he is all digital manipulation and beehive activity. The title track is the only actual song, a crazily awkward road number praising the Motel and its amenities “despite all the styrofoam” – colour TV included in the price. Concludes with a kind of raga over electronic sizzle and swoop.

Weird record. Produced in part with funds from the Australian Government; weird government. Good for it.

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SCENE (Australia)

Anonymeye – Anonymeye Motel (Half/Theory)
Scene #684 – March 22, 2007
review by James Kritzler

Anonymeye’sconceptual L.P., ‘Anonymeye Motel’, is a thicket of processed guitars and minimalist electronics that, whilst akin to fore bearers John Fahey and Matmos, serves to take only minor cues from their original styles and textures. Rather, Anonymeye (former Brisbane icon Andrew Tuttle) embraces the context of his surroundings in the form of desolate highways and family run motels to construct the weary southern mood,which his ethereal pieces evoke. Anonymeye has truly created an L.P. whereby the concept is reflected in both the ideas and music. The finest local release of 2006.

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THE WIRE (United Kingdom)

Anonymeye – Anonymeye Motel (Half/Theory)
The Wire #276 – February 2007
review by David Stubbs

Anonymeye,a name which suggests some Antipodean variation on the French word ‘anomie’, is the nom de plume of Brisbane ‘avant’ country artist Andrew Tuttle. Anonymeye Motel is his ironic homage to the plethora offamily-run motels which string along Australia’s highways and attach toits tourist destinations, whose depressingly faux attempts at folkinessare so widespread that, far from being ‘inauthentic’, they represent,in their ubiquity, a New Authenticity. Tracks like ‘Suburban ShoppingCentre Carpark’ and ‘Life In Suburbia’ attempt to work up somethingsublime from the dreary hum of malfunctioning neon lights and off-whiteplastic balcony railings, finding beauty in their humble everydayness.Most effective is the 11 minute ‘Reception’, which succeeds inconveying tedium without itself being tedious; the altered consciousness that can be engendered by spending more than a few minutes in these places, with their low-level Muzak, odour of polishand framed scenes of Old Melbourne is evoked by yawning bursts of Fennesz-style electronics, punctuating an otherwise flatlining Ambient backdrop.

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MESS&NOISE (Australia)

Anonymeye – Anonymeye Motel (Half/Theory)
Mess & Noise #10 – November 2007
review by Ben Gook

Brisbanelaptop-tweaker Anonymeye gets the acoustic guitar out for ‘SuburbanShopping Centre Carpark’, the opening track here – and nails thealbum’s finest hook within the first forty seconds. Elsewhere, hedessicates guitar chords on ‘A Walk Down The Street’ with chef-likeprecision but still lets melodicism bloom and run like oil in a pan. On’Pacific Highway, 3pm,’ the ghosts of John Fahey and Neil Young haunt alonely stretch of Australian bitumen. This is a fine album ofelectro-acoustic experimentation, pitching itself near US stalwarts The Books and Matmos – with its stuttering country and western vibe,Anonymeye Motel is something like the Matmos, People Like Us and Wobblycollaboration Wide Open Space. But that is a mere reference point -there’s a
singular and unique musical mind at work here.

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CYCLIC DEFROST (Australia)

Anonymeye – Anonymeye Motel (Half/Theory)
Cyclic Defrost #15 – August 2006
review by Seb Chan

Latelast year I was sitting in an apartment in Berlin. My friend had put on a record picked from our hosts vast collection. A series of spindling guitar tones sprang from the stereo, creating an endlessly rolling, a kind of drone-meets-blues effect. At the end of the first side I discovered that we’d just been listening to John Fahey. Fahey is the kind of musician that you read about in The Wire Magazine and file away for a time when you chance upon an album in a specialist record store and actually take a listen – a kind of canonical realisation moment.

Queenslander Andrew Tuttle’s debut album as Anonymeye on Scott Sinclair’s Half/Theory label is a fascinating first album. Based around a rough concept of a roadside motel – the CD packaging design is based on a roadside diner menu – Anonymeye Motel is a thoughtful exploration of wide open spaces and the open road. Although it opens with the weakest track, Suburban Shopping Centre Carpark which suffers from its dull rhythmic backing and beat production, it soon hits its stride with aseries of Fahey-inspired guitar processed pieces that transform into intricate fuzz in the vein of Fennesz. Life In Suburbia revolves around a ribbon-like guitar loops that unfurls underneath layers offield recordings. Pacific Highway, 3pm is the most Fahey-like piece employing lovely guitar work that becomes heavily processed on its sister track Pacific Highway, 3am. The closer, Reception, is another heavily processed guitar piece which dissolves into drones. On another track Tuttle introduces his own vocals and there is a clear sense that he is experimenting with several genres at once and there is a pop musician lurking somewhere beneath. Although referencing its influencesvery directly, there is plenty of interest and those who enjoy Greg Davis, Keith Whitman and Fennesz will appreciate the skewed pop take.

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RAVE (Australia)

Anonymeye – Anonymeye Motel (Half/Theory)
Rave #15 – June 2006
review by Jakeb Smith

Time, space and distance

Local Brisbane artist Anonymeye’s debut release Anonymeye Motel is a concept album detailing ‘highway travel, cheap roadside motels and the inevitable return to suburbia that follows’. It is a lush blend of country-inspired riffs and licks, sampled, stopped and started, shifted and stuttered, stammered and syncopated, or simply left to ring and whisper of wide-open spaces. The sound can be trying at times, a brand of art-country electronica that perhaps adheres too much to portraying a concept rather than strict aural aesthetics. The incessant static clicks of Pacific Highway 3am truly make the brain mimic the caffeine induced neurosis of late-night driving, but that doesn’t necessarily make it palatable. Still the album is a stark and honest account oflife and music that holds an idealistic innocence. It can be annoying or refreshing, depending on one’s disposition, but it is always endearing and subtly powerful. Bravo.

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