Octopus Off-Broadway Reviews
as of 8/1/02
“Octopus Off-Broadway” (CD)
Tortoise had better watch their back. While others manage meager, meandering “post-rock” shenanigans that hint at musical possibilities, Louisville’s Parlour have turned out a record that just gets better with each listen. Dense rhythms, swirling guitar and synthwork manage to reference Krautrock, downtempo and jazz while maintaining a vital voice of its own, due in large part to mastermind Tim Furnish’s four-year assemblage process. Trans
Wendy & Carl
Fantastic new release of majestic instrumentals recalling late-period Talk Talk and other similair artists – Recommended
Parlour, “Octopus Off-Broadway”
Do you remember what your first dream was like? When you woke up you were either so glad it was over, or you wanted to go back and live in that world forever. Sometimes you’d have the dream again and again, like some foreboding message or prophecy. If I had a dream where I am everything I want to be, I would want Parlour to provide the soundtrack. And I would want that dream to happen every time I go to sleep, just so I could hear that music again. Tim Furnish, best known for his work in Cerebellum and Crain, formed Parlour by joining with the experimental band Paden in 1999, and the result is nothing short of stunning. A strong rhythm section drives each track, with keyboard beeps, whistles, and samples joined with hypnotic guitars and bass feeding the frenzy. Furnish’s dabbling in Aerial M and The For Carnation have had an influence on him, as this music is dark in tone, but not sinister. From the opening track, ‘Stipendlax,’ with its simple guitar chords and droning bass; to the funky bass and keyboards of ‘Aflipperput’; to the simple lullaby melody of ‘Sleeper’; to the laidback groove of ‘Weeds That Grow Into Trees’; Parlour infect you with their driven, relaxing tone. Every track is a lot to absorb in one listen, as there’s so much happening on so many different levels. Fortunately, although the music is simple, it is never repetitive. Each track builds and builds, adding elements that intersect, intertwine, and interrupt your brain’s normal activity. It’s that infecting and that endearing. This is cerebral math rock. This is the sound of dreams. And I’m going to sleep here pretty soon. – Rob Devlin
Debut album from Louisville, KY outfit PARLOUR brings to mind all that is good and compelling about instrumental music. Led mainly by TIM FURNISH (CRAIN, THE FOR CARNATION) on guitar/electronics, PARLOUR build wildly entertaining movements in sound, texture & rythm. A veritable undersea voyage of linearly progressive sound effects, drums, guitar & bass that meet effortlessly in a collage of instrumental interplay & rythmic beauty. This really is an amazing record that completely deserves your attention. Those of you who appreciate bands like MICE PARADE, HIM & the like will absolutley adore this record.
Temporary Residence Ltd.
From the helm of Lousiville Kentucky scene royalty comes the latest effort from Tim Furnish (ex- Cerebellum). This 4 year in the making magnum opus will reel in any fans of Pluraman, Tortoise and Bedhead. Simplistic melodies that haunt your ears but without droning into a graveyard of monotony. Weird but beautiful at the same time. Definitly a piece for the more intellectual music critic than for a fan of the norm.
One Tim Furnish apparently kept the Louisville scene post rockers are so reverent about going through the late 80’s to present. Instrumental sounds compared to Can, This Heat, Papa M, The For Carnation, Bedhead, Fridge, Pluramon and Tortoise. Let’s not forget that Temporary Residence is quite hot (I’m talking $ale$) in this territory, particularly over the last year.
By JEFFREY LEE PUCKETT • May 18, 2002 [email protected]
In its early days, Parlour wandered through an electronic soundscape of homemade experimental music, feeling its way by instinct as much as design. That was just the blueprint. “Octopus Off-Broadway” is the finished work. Parlour’s leader, Tim Furnish, hasn’t abandoned his impressionistic noise paintings but has built upon that idea to often beautiful effect with an authoritative rhythm section and finely structured songs. Furnish, Todd Hancock and Connor Bell (with help from brother Simon Furnish and Tony Bailey) have crafted a small gem. Hancock and Bell, on drums and bass, respectively, provide an insistent but not overwhelming groove that supports Furnish’s washes of sound and simple pop-wise guitar parts. The blips, squiggles and waves of white noise simmer beneath the melodies, occasionally rising up as a challenge. “MPerfect” is the hit, with a tiny, sticky guitar progression resting on a serene background. It’s Parlour at its best, addictive and hypnotic, with just as much beneath the surface as above.
Aquarius records san francisco.
PARLOUR “Octopus Off-Broadway” (Temporary Residence) cd 14.98
Led by Tim Furnish (Crain, Aerial M, For Carnation), this Louisville group is quite beautiful. It’s a post rock instrumental record… and yeah, there’s a lot of those out right now! However, this is totally at the higher end of the quality spectrum. The lulling Tortoise-like grooves that the band gets into are super warm and organic sounding, as opposed to too much electronics. I like that. Added twists *do* occur on a synth, but ironically enough, these are some of the warmest sounds on the record — reminding me of flutes, wooden percussive implements, random harmonizing squiggles. It’s not the most challenging record in the world, but it don’t hafta be. A worthy indierock answer to Boards of Canada or Gas. A very pretty, very nice surprise.RealAudio: http://aquariusrecords.org/audio/parlourstipendlax.rm RealAudio: http://aquariusrecords.org/audio/parlouraflipperput.r
You’d think that, after all of these years, people would be sick and tired of that whole art-rock/math-rock/Chicago post-rock/post-jazz post-melody anti-rock music trend/media manipulation thing. Jokes about the tortoise popping his head out notwithstanding, that whole scene is, in fact, rather tired, dull, and, to a lesser extent, lacking in imagination. I mean, my god, Jim O’Rourke’s in Wilco and Sonic Youth now and, from what I understand, no longer lives in Chicago–isn’t it time for the rest of the world to give up the ghost?
The main problem about this whole post-whatever genre isn’t that the music is bad; often, it’s rather lovely–its that the music is so repetitive, with the styles created by a few being imitated ad nauseam by lesser musical minds. The copycat syndrome is so bad, that I actually dreamed last night that Jim O’Rourke married Courtney Love and then was found dead in his attic of an “apparent” suicide, and disillusioned hipsters everywhere imitating O’Rourke’s passing. Andy Rooney came on the air and lambasted the poor quality of the imitator’s suicides and infuriating the staff of Your Flesh by saying, point blank, “who cares?” In my dream, these hack musicians all sold their marimbas and either got temp jobs or jumped to the new trend–Ryan Adams! (Later in my dream, James Iha subsequently rumored to have been involved in the affair, only to turn up dead from eye-liner poisoning. Hey, can’t fault Iha, he probably needs the money.)
At the end of my dream, Parlour became Creed. Not that Creed are good, mind you, but because Creed are successfully feeding off of the corpse of grunge, and though I personally don’t like ’em, I can’t begrudge anyone their success. Nobody’s going to confuse Parlour for Creed, but, thankfully, nobody’s going to confuse them for anything that has the scent of Jim O’Rourke or Thrill Jockey. I have to give Louisville scene veteran and Parlour mastermind Tim Furnish (ex-Crain, For Carnation, Papa M) credit for not doing this kind of music during its heyday a few years ago; I’m sure the music would have been lumped unfairly with a lot of the crap that was out during that time. Kudos for realizing that this kind of music needed time to mature, grow, and stand out from the chafe.
Octopus Off-Broadway is a beautiful record that, thankfully, mixes up these familiar, tired sounds with their own with a grand, lush, slightly cinematic approach that will simply gently sweep you up into the air, down into the ocean, and will fill your eyes with the wide open skies of that planet we call Earth. Don’t believe me? Then simply take a listen to “Mperfect.” It’s a seven minute piece that seems like a half-hour, but in a good way. Starting off with a simple, repetitive beat, it progresses into a grand, lush, synthed-out orchestra, and takes you higher, higher, higher ever so slowly, until you are floating in the air gently and unknowingly.
Time passes realllllllly slow when listening to Octopus Off-Broadway, and that’s a totally good thing. The only thing about Octopus Off-Broadway that’s not a good thing in my book are those chimes. Yes..those new-age chimes. I always hate to throw out that term when talking about this kind of music, but I’m not one for them. They populate “Sleeper” predominantly, and appear throughout the album sporadically. Using that device is about the same as hearing a sample of “The Funky Drummer,” and you’d think that little trick would be avoided. It certainly doesn’t help matters, and it makes me think someone at the pressing plant accidentally slipped some Yanni or Windam Hill on to this record. Or..maybe they did!
Octopus Off-Broadway is the product of some talented minds working together, such as Trevor Kampmann and Paul Oldham, and is a rather surprisingly fine debut album. It would be easy to make jokes about this kind of music, but when the music’s this good, it’s not necessary. In fact, it still gives me some kind of hope. Sometimes it’s good to rock out, and sometimes it’s good to just turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. Parlor have done just that, and this is their document of their journey from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the atmosphere. Quite a climb, quite a debut.
Delusions of Adequacy
PO Box 23554
Rochester, NY 14692
It was March of 2001 and I was eagerly anticipating the Mogwai show at the Metro in Chicago. I had always heard wonderful things about their live performance and needless to say they ended up putting on an amazing show. But I’ll save that story for another point in time. Before starting out on the almost two-hour drive from Milwaukee to downtown Chicago I pondered to myself what opening acts might I be shamefully subjected to before our superheroes of indie rock, Mogwai, grace us with their presence. It turned out that Aurore Rien (one of my favorite bands and also some of my good friends) was one of the two opening acts for the show. The other was a relatively unknown band, Parlour.
Parlour was to play right after Aurore Rien, and in the back of my head I wished they would not have played at all (mainly because I was so anxious to see Mogwai). The thing that really stood out about Parlour more than anything else was the fact that they used a large projection screen with complex shapes that would move accordingly to their music. I would later come to find out later this projection was referred to as “Tigital” and was done Jamie Tittle (Parlour’s honorary fourth member). The effect is very similar to the Windows Media Player application used for playing mp3s and CDs on computers. Anyway, the music was interesting but certainly not overly exciting and jaw-dropping. This brings me to the main point of why I decided to rehash this story for the review. Upon listening to Parlour’s Octopus Off-Broadway CD, I wish I would have given them much more attention to their live performance because it is without a doubt an absolutely incredible release.
Parlour is the brainchild of Tim Furnish, who has certainly paid his dues to indie rock in the For Carnation, Aerial M, and Cerebellum. Parlour’s music is innovative, well thought-out, and hypnotically beautiful. It puts the listener into a whole new world, one in which everything around them becomes much more beautiful and entrancing. What makes Parlour unique is that they’ve managed to put a new twist or spin on traditional krautrock, making it much more palatable by infusing melodic guitar into the mix. Their music is complex yet at the same time easy to grasp upon the very first listen. Each concurrent listen finds the listener uncovering new melodies that were somehow hidden in all of the beauty. At times, it feels like staring at a beautiful sunset a warm summer’s day. The music becomes so powerful and captivating one feels its almost overwhelming, leading many times to sensory overload. Parlour’s music is blissful and quite intriguing. However one should be cautious because continued listenings can induce a trance-like state.
“Stipendlax” start out with a wonderfully entrancing synth motif. The guitar is used very effectively to reinforce the melody of the synth by playing a few key notes repeatedly. It is this repetition that is so powerful because every time it’s played little extra notes are thrown in to capture the listener’s attention. The rhythm section is strong with bassist Connor Bell repeating the same entrancing bass line over and over while Todd Hancock keeps a steady and sturdy beat with the occasional fills. When I saw them live he was very much robotic and mechanical in his precise movements around his drum set. As I mentioned before, it’s quite necessary to listen to the tracks over and over again so that you can hear all of the details and intricacies of the music since so much is going on all at the same time. I would also suggest listening to the disc with headphones or while driving. It certainly makes everything around you much more interesting to look at.
“Aflipperput” begins with a synthesized flute repeating over and over while the steady rhythm team takes over from there. Eventually other synthesized instruments such as a trumpet come into the mix. The solid rhythm helps significantly by using minimalist qualities and not distracting the listener with excess material since so much is going on already. However, both know when to add the occasional extra part to keep the listener interested and paying attention. The use of unconventional instruments are synthesized and become more rhythmic oriented by pounding the same notes into your head over and over.
“This Time” is a wonderful track that begins with a few synthesized instruments playing overlapping meandering parts. The bass enters and becomes incredibly warm by playing a simplistic yet varied bass lines over and over. Tim Furnish’s sparkling guitar part really adds a substantial amount to the melody. It is amazingly catchy and yet a very interesting part that demands the listener’s attention. I really like how the synth at times models his melodic line and at other times becomes its distinct melody. “Mperfect” is a catchy little gem with Furnish’s guitar part starting out the song. Eventually the listener is overwhelmed with synths that start out quietly and increase their dynamics to combine with the guitar line forming a wonderful melody. “Sleeper” is a quieter, more introspective song that gradually becomes more interesting. At one point the synth has almost a comical motif which sounds out of place but eventually finds it’s way back into the song when strings are added. There isn’t any drums or bass added, but the song still flows quite nicely. “Weeds that Grow into Trees” starts off with a lot of melodic synthesized noise and gradually becomes a steady rhythmic flowing song, although a slower number.
My favorite track on the album is “The Living Beginning.” A synthesized melody starts out with another minimalist bassline. Furnish’s clean guitar (lacking reverb and any effects) enters into the mix and plays an extremely catchy motif that continues to grow on me every time I listen to the song. The other instruments, mostly consisting of synths, add a nice ethereal and atmospheric layer to the song. They progress and add a wonderful countermelody to Furnish’s guitar line. The rhythm section is also in full effect pounding a solid and steady beat.
As I think back in retrospect about Parlour’s show, I kick myself for not giving them more attention. Through listening to their new CD, I understand why they didn’t make the most favorable impression on me at first. Parlour’s music is complex and requires many listens to fully understand and hear the intricate melodies they’re constructing. However, once you see exactly what they’re building up to, you cannot help but be amazed at how beautiful and truly addictive it is. Octopus Off-Broadway is one of the stronger releases I’ve come across this year. Because they’re relatively obscure, I fear that they might not get the attention they deserve. Hopefully being associated with Temporary Residence’s host of other amazingly talented artists will turn on new fans to Parlour’s brilliantly hypnotic masterpieces. They’ve certainly won me over. – Jeff C., 5/20/02
Created over the course of almost 4 years, the 7 tracks on Octopus Off-Broadway are primarily the work of Tim Furnish (although several friends contribute to about half the tracks). A moonlighting member of many different groups (For Carnation, Aerial M) and an influencial person in the early to mid-90’s Louisville Kentucky music scene, Furnish sort of secluded himself for awhile while working through the different ideas for tracks on this release. Despite the somewhat long long incubation time, the release doesn’t suffer from any continuity problems, and the long tracks flow together nicely for almost 55 minutes of instrumental post rock (with a touch of Ye Olde Progge). Yes, it’s true. The somewhat unsteady gaze of progressive rock indeed casts a slight glance in the direction of Parlour, but only in very subtle ways.
The fact of the matter is that the main attachment this release has to anything “prog” is the fact that Parlour uses a lot of keyboard sounds. The funny thing is that although you may have heard the sounds before (even on keyboards you have at home), Furnish somehow manages to make them fit into the release without sounding silly. He’s not afraid to use a keyboard to create woodwind or horn sounds, and despite how silly it sounds on paper, things weave together in almost hypnotic ways much of the time, so forget your Rush comparisons already.
As mentioned above, Parlour works a rather hypnotic angle with the music on this release, and they do that mainly through just the right amount of repetition and great layering of sounds. “Stipendlax” opens the album with almost watery keyboard noises and every measure another subtle sound is introduced. Eventually, the drums come in alongside guitars and bass (and some super-swampy low-end) and the different instruments shift and slide melodies in the lush track. “Aflipperput” starts out rather simply (with some of those woodwindy sounds I mentioned above) as well, but again starts piling on different layers until the fast-paced track is snaking all over with intertwining melodies.
It’s on “Sleeper” that Furnish’s ‘Electro-Octopization’ (his euphemism for the multiple keyboard layers) come into full effect. Comprised solely of subtle layers of swirling guitars, a jaunty little melody (on what sounds like a french horn) cuts through everything and hooks the ear with its simplicity. After a spaced-out beginning, “Weeds That Grow Into Trees” locks into a funky little track with a nice rhythm section while the epic album closer “The Living Beginning” builds and evolves over the course of 15 minutes. The latter track even has a couple flourishes of keyboards that would sound downright new-agey removed from the context of the song, and while they certainly sound different than anything else you’d expect to hear on a record of this sort, they actually work quite well. As stated before, though, there are sounds that upon introduction simply don’t sound like they’ll work, but placed within the context of the songs, they do. Definitely an interesting album, with hummable melodies and compositions that unfold in almost dreamlike ways.
Parlour is de band van Tim Furnish. Sinds begin jaren 90 is hij actief in de bloeiende scene van Louisville, met bands als Crain, Rodan, Matmos en Sun- spring. Parlour maakt postrock met sterke ritmes, intense dyna- miek en een weirde schoonheid. Referenties: Papa M, The For Carnation, Bedhead, Fridge, This Heat, Can en Tortoise.
http://picnic.to/~kashmir/music/review_p.htm Octopus Off-Broadway …[ 2002 ] Temporary ResidenceÅ^TRR47
The return of the seminal post-rocker Tim Furnish (previously of Cerebellum and Crain), Octopus off Broadway is a complex mélange of layered organic textures, subdued guitar tones, and light, relaxing rhythms. Although probably taking more cues from prog rock and Krautrock than from the clichéd ranks of more modern post-rockers, Parlour never comes off as overly esoteric, with their rather stripped-down guitar-bass-synth-drums approach creating a wash of pensive and laid-back, yet entirely expressive, tones. Four years in the making, the time seems well spent, with rather cinematic tracks like “Sleeper” featuring playfully literate and aurally descriptive arrangements. In the end, while there is nothing truly groundbreaking emerging from the somnambulistic haze of these seven tracks, there is also little denying that the listening experience is an entirely enjoyable companion for the hour it visits. — Matt Fink
“Octopus Off-Broadway” (CD)
Over the past few years, “post-rock” has gone from a vague descriptor, or at the very least an ill-defined mindset, to a genre unto itself. Blame lazy writers, who are all too willing to convert just about anything into an adjective if it’ll get to the point faster than a couple of roundabout sentences; “post-rock”, despite being fundamentally meaningless, is far less taxing on the computer keyboard than “lots of people playing the same bits over and over again with minor changes”.
What does this have to do with Parlour? Not much, save that the average reader will quickly tag Parlour as post-rock; after all, Tim Furnish’s compositions rely less on verse/chorus/verse structure than on playing the same bits over and over again with minor changes.
Of course, the whole “playing the same bit over and over again with minor changes” thing can get very dull very quickly ˆ although, when you’re dealing with nine-minute songs, “very quickly” is at best a relative term. Likewise “dull”; critics call this sort of repetition “hypnotic”, which is essentially a way of coming at the word “dull” via the rear entrance, jumping out and yelling “Surprise!” before anyone really has a chance to digest the implications of the statement.
Octopus Off-Broadway isn’t dull…or at least it isn’t dull very often. One gets the sense that Furnish and his cohorts are legitimately interested in allowing these songs to go where their moods take them, and in following dutifully behind them, adding squiggly little keyboard bits as the situation requires. They’re not sitting around in a room, smiling indulgently at each other and thinking about how David Pajo is going to wet himself when he hears a particular chord progression; they’re wrapped up in exploring and unfolding something grand ˆ perhaps even spectacular. The music doesn’t sound like scholarly jazzbo wankage; it’s altogether broader and more exploratory, filled with the sprightly voices of a synthesized orchestra. Each track seems to be leading up to a grand revelation, whether it’s couched in brooding mystery (“This Time”), contented expectation (“Weeds That Grow Into Trees”) or bubbling joy (“Aflipperput”), and the Parlour guys dive into every new sequence with commendable aplomb.
Krautrock is cited as a reference point, and that’s fair; you’ll hear a little Can in the cross-purposed density of “Weeds…”, and the Parlour guys aren’t above making jet-engine noises with their instruments during the closing minutes of the epic “The Living Beginning”. However, the canny listener will also detect a surprising ˆ perhaps even to Parlour ˆ debt to New Age. The whimsical, cautiously-crystalline explorations of “Aflipperput”, and to a far greater extent “Sleeper”, are rooted in the same warm-hearted joie de vivre that enlivened the compositions of Ray Lynch (Deep Breakfast). Parlour is working with a far broader canvas, to be certain, and pressing toward different goals, but there’s the same sense of the tune meeting you head-on, staring you down and then proceeding doggedly onward with its own obscure little mission.
Under most circumstances, Octopus Off-Broadway is entirely the wrong thing to listen to ˆ for example, it’s better suited to the guided-tour travelogues of Discovery channel documentaries than the aggressive pavement-munching of an action film. Their few rocking and/or abrasive moments aside, Parlour is best filed under “Music to Think About Fractals To”, or linked to similarly couch-bound pursuits. To Parlour’s credit, however, Octopus is not snooty-nosed jazz-wank devised as a musical smackdown for their peers; it won’t make you want to take Tim Furnish aside and do something violent to him involving forceps and a Jaco Pastorious record. Octopus offers wide-eyed, pervasive pleasure; the last thing you’ll want to do is tie the band to a post and throw rocks at them.
http://www.matamore.net/fsmenu.htm parlour – octopus off-broadway – temporary residence (konkurrent) – 2002
Parlour est le projet d’un certain Tim Furnish, musicien de Louisville, KY, aidé de quelques amis, avec déjà un large passé derrière lui. Il a en effet joué dans Cerebellum et Crain, formations dont sont issus Matmos ou Rodan et du coup toute la descendance de ces derniers. Tim Furnish a aussi eu l’occasion de fournir ses services pour un temps à Aerial M ou For Carnation. Les enregistrements qui constituent ‘Octopus Off-Broadway’ s’étalent sur quatre ans, de 1998 à 2001, et s’éloignent très fort stylistiquement de toute la scène post-rock quoique certains parallèles avec des formations comme Silo, Fridge, Pluramon ou Tortoise ne sont pas à exclure. La musique de Parlour se base surtout sur une rencontre entre claviers et guitares, batterie et basse quoique fort présents jouant quand même des rôles d’accompagnements. On pourrait ainsi qualifier ‘Octopus Off-Broadway’ d’un mélange de néo-kraut rock et de space-rock à tendance progressive. La musique fonctionne donc bien ici sur les thèmes de la transe, de l’hypnotisme et du somnambulisme. Après quelques écoutes, difficile de nier ces effets secondaires attenants que l’on ne peut s’empêcher de ressentir. Un ‘Stipendax’ hallucinogène se déploie lentement sous des volutes de fumée, agitées d’une basse cyclique en ligne directe de chez Silo même si plus conventionnelle ici. Les synthés se lancent dans des nappes pulsantes au groove perméable. Sorte de bande originale de rêve pour longues randonnées en voiture sur des routes nationales traversant cités et zones industrielles. Avec ‘Aflipperput’, on a la sensation de tomber dans un trip seventies, la rythmique qui s’accélère peu à peu et les sons de flûtes et trompettes synthétiques tocs sont à ce point de vue stupéfiants. Kraut Rock is not dead. ‘This Time’ atteint même une touche années quatre-vingts avec ses synthés tocs, pour un périple à mi chemin entre new age et post-rock. ‘Mperfect’ fait songer à une musique de film, mais d’un film rêveur alors avec de longs points de vue des toits de jour et de parcs aux pelouses verdoyantes. ‘Sleeper’ a des allures de comptines symphonique, de promenade amoureuse, à l’aube, dans un jardin anglais recouvert de brumes. ‘Weeds that grow into trees’ nous emmène dans un délire interplanétaire, atmosphérique et psychédélique, les pieds dans les nuages, les yeux perdus vers les étoiles, occupé à observer les satellites qui gravitent autour de la terre, à la manière d’un Jessamine allégé. L’album se termine avec une pièce de choix de quinze minutes. Sommet épique du disque, ‘The living beginning’ se déploye lentement mais avec un dynamisme certain, une guitare pas étrangère aux plus belles lignes de Aerial M ou Pullman, montée sur des rythmes prenants et portée par des nappes de synthés éthérés. Le morceau se termine en une longue drone vibrante. Un album étrange, hors du temps, délirant, mais définitivement très agréable. Didier
Translation via Google
Parlour is the project of certain Tim Furnish, musician of Louisville, KY, helped of some friends, with already broad passed behind him. It indeed played in Cerebellum and Crain, formations whose resulting Matmos or Rodan is and of the blow all the descent of the latter. Tim Furnish also had the occasion to provide its services for a time to Aerial M or For Carnation. The recordings which constitute ‘ Octopus Off-Broadway’ spread out over four years, from 1998 to 2001, and move away very extremely stylistiquement from all the scene post-rock’n’roll though certain parallels with formations like Silo, Fridge, Pluramon or Tortoise are not to exclude. The music of Parlour is based especially on a meeting between keyboards and guitars, battery and low though strong present playing nevertheless of the roles of accompaniments. One could thus qualify ‘ Octopus Off-Broadway’ of a mixture of néo-kraut rock’n’roll and space-rock’n’roll with progressive tendency. The music thus functions well here on the topics of fright, hypnotism and the sleepwalking. After some listenings, difficult to deny these contiguous side effects which one cannot prevent oneself from feeling. A ‘ Stipendax’ hallucinogen is spread slowly under volutes of smoke, agitated of low cyclic in hot line from Silo even if if more conventional here. Synthés launch out in pulsating tablecloths to the permeable groove. Left original band of dream for long drives on trunk roads crossing quoted and industrial parks. With ‘ Aflipperput ‘, there is the feeling to fall into a trip seventies, the rhythmic one which accelerates little by little and the sounds of flutes and trumpets synthetic fakes are from this narcotics point of view. Kraut Rock’n’roll is not dead. ‘ This Time’ reaches even a key the Eighties with its synthés fakes, for a tour with semi way between new age and post-rock’n’roll. ‘ Mperfect’ makes think of a music of film, but of a film dreamer then with long points of view of the roofs of day and parks with the green lawns. ‘ Sleeper’ has paces of counting rhymes symphonic, walk in love, at dawn, in an English garden covered with fogs. ‘ Weeds that grow into trees’ takes us along in one is delirious interplanetary, atmospheric and psychedelic, the feet in the clouds, the eyes lost towards stars, occupied to observe the satellites which revolve around the ground, with the manner of reduced Jessamine. The album finishes with a part of fifteen minutes choice. Summit epic of the disc, ‘ The living room beginning’ déploye slowly but with an unquestionable dynamism, a guitar not foreign with the most beautiful lines of Aerial M or Pullman, assembled on fascinating rates/rhythms and carried by tablecloths of synthés éthérés. The piece finishes in long the drone vibrating. An album strange, out of time, delirious, but definitively very pleasant.
Tim Furnish collects the musical vision of Parlour w/ a group of friends recording an album of instrumental neo-kraut-space-rock incorporating programming, synths, guitar, drum, and bass written between 1996 and 2001. While on tour with The For Carnation, Tim released a number of songs titled Octopus Off-Broadway including extra songs, mixes, and versions of old songs sent as early demos to friends and labels. Officially released in stores April 2, 2002, Octopus Off-Broadway songs journey, moving through space and the cinematic. During This Time, track number three, guitars call and respond amidst a sunken sea swirl of synths. On Aflipperput, arpeggiated synths over top a driving drum beat slightly evolve over time similar to a Steve Reich progression over a Can type ensemble. Later, lullaby guitar melody repeats while a growing deep synth drone crescendos to a forgotten climax, then Sleeper drifts away leaving you with Weeds That Grow Into Trees, a dense hypnotic track pulling through deep surface territory. The Living Beginning, an aptly titled final track, tells this album is nearing an end, departing with the discovery of a sound left for the conscious to explore again. Previously, Parlour released la leiztpop ventures; an MP3 only album at 224-bit rate made in 1998, as well as appeared on the 1999 Ghetto Defendant, Louisvillesonicimprint-vol.1Compilation. Octopus Off-Broadway is Parlour’s most recent recording to date. Parlour is: Tim Furnish, Simon Furnish, Todd Hancock, Connor Bell, and Tony Bailey.
http://www.autresdirections.net/pages/webzine/chro/indexchroniques.html parlour / octopus off-broadway
Quelque part près de Louisville (autant dire nulle part), un type, Tim Furnish (autant dire personne), a composé de 1999 à 2001 quelques titres, qui finissent aujourd’hui par se retrouver sur cet album. Un disque qui aurait pu rester un petit plaisir solitaire pour son auteur, une thérapie pour épancher sa mélancolie. Mais l’homme semble avoir quelques amis fidèles : Paul Oldham (le frère de l’autre ou tout le monde s’appelle-t-il Oldham dans le Kentucky ?!) qui a enregistré la plupart des morceaux et surtout le plus crédible des labels du genre, Temporary Residence. Un disque muet mais une chance de s’exprimer pour Parlour qui déploie tous ses talents pour créer une ambiance mélancolique comme ses compagnons de route, Halifax Pier ou Sonna, juste avec quelques guitares et claviers, une batterie métronomique, une basse discrète. Un son direct, sans fioritures, qui donne l’impression que le groupe joue dans la pièce à coté, très américain. Car on n’est pas loin de Transona Five ou des maîtres du genre, Bedhead, notamment sur l’envoûtant Mperfect. Octopus Off-Broadway devient alors l’un de ses disques simples, discrets, qui accompagne si bien les journées grises et ternes. Un disque qu’on se prêtera entre amis, conscients de partager un langage simple. from junkmedia.org. SO exhausting…
Last weekend a buddy and I were weaving our way through the liquor section of an El Paso, Texas grocery store in search of a tasty drink to enjoy that evening in one of the west Texas city’s finest night spots. I don’t normally drink beer, so being in the beer section was something interesting, especially when I discovered that the beer section included things called “malt-flavored beverages”. I’m sure you’ve all seen these by now: some liquor company started coming up with a better tasting concoction of god-knows-what, fermented it and is now selling it as the hip new thing to be seen drinking. After our collective curiosity was peaked by the sheer abundance of these new-fangled elixirs, we found ourselves helpless to resist their fancy packaging, their promises of extraordinary taste and the image in our minds of being the two coolest guys in Texas for showing up with a few 12-packs of these exciting drinks. And we purchased them with the fervor of two country kids spending their hard earned nickel on a bottle of Sarsparilla. We were pretty excited about what these things would taste like, seeing as how we’d never tried them before. Since we could ascertain from the packaging that they were the creation of vodka, rum and tequila makers, we figured they would have their own special nuances (and would knock us flat on our backs). So we cracked open the first bottle of a nicely packaged bottle called “Ice” (I’m sure you know who the manufacturer is!). It tasted fine if you like Sprite with extra sugar and a nasty aftertaste. The next one we tried was called “Silver” (Again, I’m sure you know the manufacturer). I’m not sure exactly what flavor they were going for with this one, but the result was not very impressive, and halfway through my first bottle I decided I was through drinking.
Believe it or not, this review of Parlour’s new record Octopus Off-Broadway is not simply a warning about the horrible new drinks the world’s distillers are trying to force down our throats, but it does serve as an interesting analogy to the state of electronic/instrumental music that is worth exploring in more depth.
Parlour sports a pretty impressive pedigree. Tim Furnish, the ringleader of Parlour, has worked with Matmos, Ariel M and The For Carnation. Other members of the band include Furnish’s brother Simon, and members of the band Crain. In general, their music could be described as chill-out style electronic music with the subtleties that only a guitar/bass/drum operation could bring to the mix. Tortoise comparisons are lazy and misguided, musically speaking. But the same idea is there: use the technology you have available to you to make the music you hear in your head.
This genre has grown tremendously in the last few years, mostly on the strength of some great records that have opened new territory for the indie rocker that doesn’t mind admitting he or she likes what electronic music brings to the table. Tortoise (and just about any of their side-projects), Tristeza and almost any of the bands on the Kranky label would be good examples of how these two seemingly polar opposites of the musical spectrum can be combined to form a fantastic new twist on a great thing. But just like anything else, there are bands who have tried this combination and come up short. And herein lies the comparison to the world of alcohol. There are many ways to create a “malt-beverage”, but it’s really just the same, nasty-tasting shit that can completely ruin a good buzz. Electronics aren’t for everyone, kids!
But this isn’t the case with Parlour, whose debut album is really something to behold. The music itself is wonderful, with songs ranging from the bass and guitar-heavy opener (“Stipendiax”) to slowed-down, almost Tristeza-like guitar meditations (“This Time”). For good measure, they even threw in a lullaby called “Sleeper” that takes you right up to the gates of dreamland before the next song “Weeds That Grow Into Trees” give your headphones the workout of their lives with bleeping electronics and huge beats, accented perfectly with repeated guitar parts and whirling keyboard that create a sublime atmosphere. It’s never good to settle for a bad thing, or drink something just because all the cool people are doing it, and the same is true in music. There’s plenty of bad records out there… the new Parlour record is not one of them.
Parlour 8.5 out of 10 stars
Temporary Residence – CD
Lange war es ruhig um Mastermind Tim Furnish, doch jetzt meldet er sich mit einem neuen Projekt und neuem Album im Rücken zurück. Auch Parlour sind eine weitere typische Temporary Residence Band, insofern als sie wieder zielsicher an allen Trends Kommerzeinflüssen vorbeisegelt. “Octopus-Off Broadway” wurde über eine Zeit von vier Jahren in verschiedenen Studios aufgenommen, was man dem Album jedoch nicht anhört, denn es wirkt sehr homogen und in sich schlüssig. Sphärische Synthies bilden die Grundlage, über der sich dann meist akkustische Gitarrenarpeggien und zuückgelehnte Drumbeats aufbauen. Eine Band hat hier ganz klar, ihre Spuren hinterlassen und das ist Can. Für Leute, die sich gerne mal Tortoise, The For Carnation, Bedhead oder Pluramon anhören, kann ich die Platte nur empfehlen, denn sie wird auch nach mehrmaligem Hören nie langweilig. Offenbaren sich doch immer wieder neue Strukturen und Elemente, die einem zuvor noch nicht aufgefallen sind. Leckere Scheibe.
Created over the course of almost 4 years, the 7 tracks on Octopus Off-Broadway are primarily the work of Tim Furnish (although several friends contribute to about half the tracks). A moonlighting member of many different groups (For Carnation, Aerial M) and an influencial person in the early to mid-90’s Louisville Kentucky music scene, Furnish sort of secluded himself for awhile while working through the different ideas for tracks on this release. Despite the somewhat long long incubation time, the release doesn’t suffer from any continuity problems, and the long tracks flow together nicely for almost 55 minutes of instrumental post rock (with a touch of Ye Olde Progge). Yes, it’s true. The somewhat unsteady gaze of progressive rock indeed casts a slight glance in the direction of Parlour, but only in very subtle ways. The fact of the matter is that the main attachment this release has to anything “prog” is the fact that Parlour uses a lot of keyboard sounds. The funny thing is that although you may have heard the sounds before (even on keyboards you have at home), Furnish somehow manages to make them fit into the release without sounding silly. He’s not afraid to use a keyboard to create woodwind or horn sounds, and despite how silly it sounds on paper, things weave together in almost hypnotic ways much of the time, so forget your Rush comparisons already. As mentioned above, Parlour works a rather hypnotic angle with the music on this release, and they do that mainly through just the right amount of repetition and great layering of sounds. “Stipendlax” opens the album with almost watery keyboard noises and every measure another subtle sound is introduced. Eventually, the drums come in alongside guitars and bass (and some super-swampy low-end) and the different instruments shift and slide melodies in the lush track. “Aflipperput” starts out rather simply (with some of those woodwindy sounds I mentioned above) as well, but again starts piling on different layers until the fast-paced track is snaking all over with intertwining melodies. It’s on “Sleeper” that Furnish’s ‘Electro-Octopization’ (his euphemism for the multiple keyboard layers) come into full effect. Comprised solely of subtle layers of swirling guitars, a jaunty little melody (on what sounds like a french horn) cuts through everything and hooks the ear with its simplicity. After a spaced-out beginning, “Weeds That Grow Into Trees” locks into a funky little track with a nice rhythm section while the epic album closer “The Living Beginning” builds and evolves over the course of 15 minutes. The latter track even has a couple flourishes of keyboards that would sound downright new-agey removed from the context of the song, and while they certainly sound different than anything else you’d expect to hear on a record of this sort, they actually work quite well. As stated before, though, there are sounds that upon introduction simply don’t sound like they’ll work, but placed within the context of the songs, they do. Definitely an interesting album, with hummable melodies and compositions that unfold in almost dreamlike ways. Review by almostcool
The average rating for this album is 8
Air + Do Make Say Think + Can + Fridge = Parlour Temporary Residence has been putting out a lot of great so-called post-rock from bands like Fridge, Explosions in the Sky and Tarantel. Parlour’s debut seems to fit into that bill nicely. Recorded over the last four years, Parlour is the latest project by Tim Furnish (of Crain, Aerial M, The For Carnation, and art-rockers Cerebellum), and marks his return after a bit of a hiatus. At first listen, what comes to mind is Canadian outfit Do Make Say Think…maybe because I listened to their first one right before listening to Octopus Off-Broadway. Beyond the fact that it’s meandering instrumental rock, Parlour has some of the same airy, jazzy jam feeling, though a lot less electronic. But there’s some definite kraut-rock here and at times it’s a bit like Air playing Can minus the cheesy pop and freak-outs. What you do get is retro swooshes of sound, gentle strums of guitars and space-out loops. The drums are tight and drive the sound forward, as the guitars and keys repeat patterns that gradually branch out and explore new angles to the themes they start out with. It all takes a while to sink in, but it is never inaccessible. Sometimes it’s downright lovely, like in the last track, “The Living Beginning,” rich with a languid, looping guitar riff over lush synths, which I’m sure Kid Loco would chomp at the bit to remix. As a friend of mine loves to point out — a lot of the post-rock I love bears many of the hallmarks of prog-rock. I’ve always hated prog, but perhaps I tend to associate that with hopelessly pretentious drivel coupled with long beards, pan-flutes and endless freak-out solos. Perhaps I am missing something, but at least this generation of art-rockers wears sensible clothing. While Parlour can be noodly, it’s in an understated, good way. This is a nice soundtrack to a train ride on a gray day — meditative, somewhat introspective and layered with patterns that are continually rewarding as each layer peels off. * On a side note, this is not the LA-based band Parlour that recently was signed to a major label. Slin Rettep
Mike E. French
Professor of Vortexology
All day I dream about: cascading oscillations, chirruping satellites. A cosmonaut piloting his ice cream module across Lunarville Park is greeted by the automaton phalanx of a toy soldier brass band. Parlour designs the sort of music that finds quick purchase on the brain reels, with alien atmospheres and the hypnotic refractions of elaborately appointed passages. The rhythmbots which swarm Svrendikditement moments after takeoff threatens to run amok with their charred frequencies, but soon reveal that their science is tight.
Though the textures of Octopus Off Broadway (early demo copy) predominantly electronic, there is a sense of rock dynamics informing some of the work which may seem surprising to those who have never witnessed Tim’s contemplative guitar etchings on Crain’s motorized hull. Opportunities to further explore rock’s parameters have come by way of Dave Pajo’s rotating workshop of math magicians, where Mr. Furnish added his indelible 2¢ to the Aerial-M singles M is and October, as well as working as a touring member of The For Carnation. On Halloween night 1995, there were a few dozen of us huddled on the floor of the Diverse Media bookstore (RIP). With Bardstown Road’s vehicular ambience, just a few feet outside the open door, Parlour’s first living incarnation presented 2 series of surreal, often beautiful, sequencer driven miniatures. With his brother Simon as excellent company on guitar and percussion, Tim appeared as audio traffic controller, working his configurations from behind a pile of electronic gear and twinkling lights.
If the visions offered that night now seem modest, it is only when compared to the rich orchestrations contained here: the sense of distant sirens that haunts the quiet tonescape of Hop Pife, or the lullaby symphonics of Sleeper. Sounds which, ounce heard, may drift effortlessly among your thoughts; weightless as dreams of space.
Green Hell Records http://www.greenhell.de
Parlour, Octopus Off-Broadway Temporary Residence, 2002
7 Songs zwischen 4 und 15 Minuten lang. Tim Furnish stammt aus der Louisville, KY-Musikerszene und spielte als Gastmusiker bei Aerial M und The For Carnation. Parlour zeigt sich eher von Krautrock beeinflußt und bietet auf dem Debüt eingängig-hypnotische und instrumentale Post-Rock-Songs mit mehrfach übereinander geschichteten Gitarren, Keyboard- und Bassklängen.