KRESTOVSKY / THE(E) AGRARIANS - Looks(ee) / This Psychedelik Wilderness

Krestovsky / The(e) Agrarians - Looks(ee) / This Psychedelik Wilderness

23 songs
77:25 minutes
***** ****
Well-Dressed

Krestovsky / The(e) Agrarians

Two artists that have been already reviewed on this site have now got together for a collaborative effort that only looks at a first glance like a classic split album. In fact there is something like at least a stylistic thread running throughout the nearly eighty minutes of music. Krestovsky starts with a first half hour of music, titled Looks(ee). Recorded all by himself, the nine songs have a strong singer/songwriter feeling to them, but additional instruments help to add a decent pop flavour. Krestovsky has a knack for accessible melodies, and an ageing Robert Pollard would be happy if he could these days create such intriguing lo-fi anthems. The middle of the disc is occupied by three lengthy Wonderful Wankerz tracks. Now wait, they weren’t mentioned on the cover, were they? In fact, this band (also already reviewed in the past) is Krestovsky and Agrarians together. Unlike on their own disc, WW sound very experimental on their quarter hour of music. Meandering through basic country flavours, you get a sunburned desert feeling that still manages to chill your bones. Their material works as an excellent bridge to the Agrarians’ half hour titled This Psychedelik Wilderness. No longer a solo project, Matt Perzinski is reinforced by Allison Walter, and together they continue this band’s strange brand of spiritual psychedelia. Again you get lo-fi, but this time less on the songwriter road than on a less travelled freeform avant-folk path. The warm enchanting vocals and the overall rural feeling of the music are counteracted by a clinically programmed beat machine. What sounds like a contradiction at first becomes their advantage in creating a sound unlike you have ever heard.

This collaborative album will never become a big success, but I doubt that this was intended anyway. Krestovsky and The(e) Agrarians have joined forces, and because they don’t like that far apart, stylistically speaking, this album makes a lot of sense, especially with the original idea of separating their half hours by a common improvisation part. The only other album I can think of that sounded as demented was Olivia Tremor Control’s Dusk At Cubist Castle, of which this can be considered a more lo-fi version. Although Looks(ee) / This Psychedelik Wilderness doesn’t reach yet that exceptional level, it is better than the solo efforts of the artists involved. Fans of unpolished music are in for a very special treat.

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