Vertical Lines a
In Elmira, Ontario, the twenty-eighth day of October 2005 was another one of those anonymous days that seem to exist solely to fill out a week: comfortable but mundane, overcast and forgettable, just like every other brisk Canadian fall day. This unremarkable backdrop is where 'Vertical Lines A' takes root. With a stack of 60-minute cassettes and tape recorder in tow, Decomposure (spare time musician/art guy Caleb Mueller) followed his average day around to capture and preserve it's unique sound signature that would otherwise have simply evaporated. Over the course of the year following that recorded day, he worked through a detailed process of digitally deconstructing each hour-long slur of sound into hundreds of individual clicks and thumps and pings. Then he built songs from them. Or song-ish things, anyway. The result is an eclectic, unrelenting collage with a sound almost completely removed from it's nondescript origin: bright harmonic pop refracts through bristling drill'n'bass, handcrafted electrofunk bumps up against epic abstract glitch-hop, cavernous acoustic meditation shares a table with field recordings and jittery dancehall. Of course, shifting across genre lines this restlessly could just as easily disintegrate into unfocused mush, and it does. Or wait, no, Decomposure manages to patch the elements together by anchoring them to crisp, unvarnished vocals and the precise punctuation of his careful beat orchestration. While 2005's quietly acclaimed 'At Home and Unaffected' was marked by an uneasy oscillation between instrumental and vocal tracks, 'Vertical Lines A' marks Decomposure's first all-vocal effort, and he commits himself fully to it. While his previous albums certainly gathered lyrically from their surroundings and vented, they never reached levels as intimate or as sprawling as this: layers of song compete for space and bewildered paragraphs tumble out like leaves from each of the album's branches. And yes, it is an album - it's meant to be headphone music, a listen-all-the-way-through progression that won't slip quietly into the background, the kind of thing that wants to build a tiny enclosed world and demands repeat listening to truly bloom. So yeah, it's gonna sell millions. Luckily, Decomposure has a day job. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ---------------- Each copy of Vertical Lines A contains a 16-page illustrated booklet, is assembled by hand, uniquely numbered, and comes with an additional DVD stocked with (probably too many) supplemental materials, including: • original sound sources for all 11 hours • a 79-page annotated sketchbook • a video overview of the album • instrumentals and isolated beats • composite song screenshots • photo galleries containing nearly 3000 blurry photos • an interview on CKUW • process recordings • and more - 15+ hours/3 Gigs of stuff MINI-BIO ---------------- Decomposure is Caleb Mueller, a 24-year-old Canadian guy from the barren prairies of Saskatchewan, although he's spent quite a bit of time in Ontario at this point and should probably concede that he's stuck there, at least for now. He completed two albums on the Unschooled Label, 2004's 'Taking Things Apart' and 2005's 'At Home and Unaffected,' before moving on to 2007's 'Vertical Lines A' on Blank Squirrel. He currently works full-time as a graphic artist in Elmira, Ontario, but spends the remainder of his days chipping away at his own music and art. He lives with his wife, Nicole, and their bunny, Bunny. And here's some quotes about old albums that make him sound even gooder: 'A polished and original listen which excites time and time again. Consistently diverse and a genuine talent for sequencing & production skills. Immensely satisfying with unbeatable results.' - CMJ New Music 'This collection of songs left me blinded by it's musicality on my first listen and I simply can't put the CD back into it's little plastic tray until I've dissected every element within. This may take a very long while but you'll want to try it as well! I am simply overwhelmed and in awe of the arrangements that Decomposure offers us, beautifully manipulated sounds and lyrically lovely sometimes distant vocals which do urge the listener to want to sing along. This collection of music is unlike most electronic music you will find out in the modern world today. It is full of surprises and passages that keep us listening with full intent. For anyone interested in the melding of genres or the unclassifiable this album is highly recommended - well worth your money and your FULL attention.' - Modsquare 'At first the skittering beats and cut-n-paste sampling of 'Whose Side Are You On?' are disorienting, but once the jaw-dropping genius of Mueller's hi-tech lo-fi approach sinks in, you wonder why all music doesn't sound this brilliant?' - Chart Attack 'I can't help but think he probably used to be the nerdy kid carrying an instrument case in one arm and a big stack of textbooks in his other one that used to get the crap kicked out of him in high school.' - Blogcritics.org.