ARTIST: City Paranoid
ALBUM: A Means to No End
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
The solo project of Paranoid Foundation's Crispin Lee, City Paranoid's work is similar to its parent project, combining subtle dark ambient textures with understated spoken word to create a mood that's uneasy without having to rely on shock value. Lee's solo work tends more toward the lyrical end of the spectrum; each track on this album features his sparsely poetic recitations layered over urban field recordings, with "Bad Friday" sounding particularly bleak. However, the voice is by no means the only appeal here, and this album's concrete grasp of urban soundscapes is what makes it such a compelling listen. On "Suburban Turnings," the barking of a small dog adds a jolt to the quiet of fuzzed out electronic tones for an effect that's truly unnerving. "Obscurity," on the other hand, is soothing, Lee's voice soaked in reverb over a background of city buildings drenched by steady rain. Like a darker version of Tor Lundvall's more recent work, this album is a masterful evocation of the city at night, full of loneliness and unfeeling concrete. Impressive stuff from a prolific composer, this highlights Lee's talents both as a writer and as a musician.
Visit www.paranoidfoundation.com for more information about Crispin Lee's projects.
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